Borislav Rozenblat / Photo from UNIAN

Week’s milestones. PGO vs Rada Committee, London report, and fidgeting Yanukovych

15:15, 10 July 2017
2 min. 465

The Verkhovna Rada Regulations Committee demonstrated that the cover-up in the Ukrainian parliament has no factional or political coloring. The prime minister and leading members of the government persuaded Ukraine’s partners in London that the reforms were continuing. Viktor Yanukovych recalled his defense team from his treason trial. Former drug enforcement chief Ilya Kiva declared himself a new leader of the Socialist Party of Ukraine.

The “Lift the Immunity” reality show at the parliament’s regulations committee not only competed with high-ranking entertainment programs on Ukrainian TV, but also demonstrated the degree of remoteness of parliamentarians from their voters. The point is not even in how sophisticated the explanations were of the MPs, the majority of whom are part of the so-called "Maidan Coalition" (that’s if the Ukrainians still remember such a coalition). The problem is that the committee and the Verkhovna Rada as a whole (it will be the last instance in this case) will only have to authorize the actions of the law enforcers, not hand down a sentence.  Borislav Rozenblat, the claims against whom by Ukraine’s law enforcers the committee deemed reasoned, will now face some hard times after he became the object of increased attention by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. By the way, that was one of the very few instances when the NABU’s efforts yielded practical results. Probably, the same problems will be facing another MP, Maksym Polyakov, who also appears on surveillance videos provided by NABU operatives.

Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko tried to sound as convincing as possible, while not seeming to give up on his will to continue his political career. Not only has he fervently argued with his former colleagues from the regulations committee, slammed doors and was harsh in his traditional snaps. The Prosecutor General has tried to demonstrate irreconcilability in his fight against high-level offenders, which the voters tend to admire. Intriguing was also a peculiar announcement he made last week, claiming the PGO is investigating new resonant violations of law by today’s and former ministers and legislators.

The upcoming vote for the lifting of parliamentary immunity will be built according to all the laws of the show. For example, a group of people's deputies claiming to be reformers intend to hold a rally under the walls of the Verkhovna Rada with a demand to remove immunity from the entire deputy corps. The initiators are well aware that for such a decision, amendments to the Constitution are needed, but they could not refuse the temptation to have another PR opportunity before the parliamentary vacation.

Grimaces of the Russian parliamentary tradition were unlikely to please PM Volodymyr Groysman, who, at the head of the government delegation at the Ukraine Reform Conference Ukraine in London urged Ukraine’s partners that not only the reforms were being implemented, they were irreversible. It’s not worth expecting instant results from the London event as the principles of converting trust at the state level are somewhat different.

Ukraine’s disgraced ex-president Viktor Yanukovych predictably decided to withdraw from the treason trial. Being seen much more seldom beyond his Rostov shelter, he burst out with indignation toward the “lawlessness” of Ukraine’s judiciary. The reason for these tantrums is obvious: his puppeteers are trying to set up conditions for further appeal of the Ukrainian court’s verdict in the high treason case in the European Court of Human Rights. Therefore, the decision of the Obolon district court and possible hearings in the following national instances should all be impeccable.

Former chief of the National Police Drug Enforcement Department Ilya Kiva has rather unexpectedly stated that he is now the new leader of Ukraine’s Socialist Party. To be fair, it should be noted that the SPU has long been ceased to be an influential political force it was back in the day when its former leader Oleksandr Moroz was also chairing the Rada. But Kiva’s "socialization" is not an element of political hooliganism, but rather a harbinger of struggle for the left segment of the electorate during future presidential and parliamentary elections.

Yevgeny Magda

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