Ukraine's parliament passes impeachment bill
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, on Tuesday, Sept 10, passed a bill on the impeachment of a president.
The relevant decision was backed by 245 lawmakers, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on May 29 submitted a draft law to the Verkhovna Rada on a special procedure for removing the president from power.
It provides for the possibility of removing the president from office by impeachment if he commits treason or another crime.
The bill determines that the basis for initiating impeachment shall be a submission signed by a majority of lawmakers from the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (226).
The bill also provides for the creation of an interim special commission (ISC), the election of a special prosecutor and special investigators.
According to the bill, the president of Ukraine may have a team of defenders (up to five people).
The law determines if there are appropriate grounds, the ISC prepares a conclusion on pressing charges against president of Ukraine, which shall be signed by the special prosecutor, special investigators, the chairman and secretary of the ISC.
The plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada, at which the conclusions and proposals of the ISC are considered, is an open session. It can be held behind closed doors if the Verkhovna Rada decides that the conclusions and proposals of the ISC or the documents and materials attached to them contain classified information.
The bill stipulates the president of Ukraine agrees with all charges, and the lawmakers who submitted the motion on initiating impeachment do not object to these charges and have no additions to them, there is no discussion on this issue, the chairman of the plenary session announces a vote by secret ballot regarding the charges and the implementation of further procedures.
If president of Ukraine agrees only with certain paragraphs of charges or disagrees with one of the paragraphs set out in the draft resolution of the Verkhovna Rada, further discussion shall be held on the charges with which president did not agree, as well as those, which were not reflected in the submitted draft.
If president of Ukraine fails to report to the plenary meeting of the Verkhovna Rada without good reason or refuses to provide explanations, answer questions, the Verkhovna Rada shall review the conclusions and proposals of the ISC without his participation.
The bill defines the procedure for deciding on charges against the president. It provides that the decision of the Verkhovna Rada on pressing charges shall be taken by secret ballot. The separate vote is provided for each paragraph of the resolution.
The Verkhovna Rada's resolution is deemed adopted as a whole with those indictments for which at least two-thirds of Ukrainian lawmakers from the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada vote, i.e. at least 300 MPs.
If a resolution is adopted, the Verkhovna Rada by a constitutional majority vote also passes an appeal to: the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to verify the case and hand down an opinion on compliance with the constitutional procedure; the Supreme Court to hand down a conclusion that the acts of the president of Ukraine contain signs of treason or another crime.
In case of obtaining the necessary conclusions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the Supreme Court, the Verkhovna Rada by secret ballot shall adopt a resolution on the removal of the president of Ukraine from office by impeachment.
The Verkhovna Rada's resolution on the removal of the president of Ukraine from office by impeachment shall be considered adopted if at least three-fourths of Ukrainian MPs from the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada vote for it.