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Week’s milestones. Hustle in Rada, showing Congress, and exemplary appointment

The Verkhovna Rada took unexpected decisions and lost powers. The "Popular Front" held a party Congress that resonated strongly with the media. Mikheil Saakashvili is trying to win his struggle in absentia with the Ukrainian Migration Service. Mykhailo Zabrodsky was appointed Commander of the ATO forces.

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The parliamentarians warmed up before considering the draft budget-2018, encouraging the prime minister by adopting in the first reading the country’s new privatization rules. Much more unexpected was the passing in the first reading of the new Electoral Code, the struggle for which began back in the days of Viktor Yushchenko’s presidency and does not guarantee the success of its participant. That’s even if the threshold is changed, as Andriy Parubiy hints may be the case. Indeed, 226 votes in the first reading is too little a stock to abandon all negotiations and compromise-seeking.

The attempt to dismiss Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov was unlikely to be launched with the aim for a long-term parliamentary crisis; its goal was rather to contribute to the wave of negativity against the interior chief following the infamous "backpack" case. Some 31 "black marks" on the parliament’s voting board is hardly a matter of concern for Mr Avakov, and this should be well admitted by his opponents as well.

The Verkhovna Rada amended the law "On Civil Service", returning to the president the right to appoint in coordination with the Cabinet of Ministers heads of regional and district state administrations. The whining on the part of opposition in this regard is quite understandable. They claim that the administrative resource is being accumulated, while not taking into account the fact that even today, heads of local administrations are oriented at the head of state anyway. It is interesting to note that last week Peter Poroshenko signed a decree appointing 113 Supreme Court judges, having performed solely a ceremonial function. Parliamentarians were not involved in this process at all. Now the entire progressive part of society will eagerly await the first verdicts by the new Supreme Court, regardless of the chamber involved.

The "Popular Front" made its public move in negotiations with the BPP on the creation of a single party of power. It turned out to be an interesting thing to witness because the political force that won early parliamentary elections by party lists has since not engaged in party building. Neither the ambitious statements by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, nor the personal attendance at the Congress of PM Volodymyr Groysman, who came to see his budget-2018 support group, can replace the routine of party building on the ground. And the outcome of the election in unified territorial communities (27 mandates out of 4,500) speaks about the actual electoral potential of the "Popular Front" as of today.

Mikheil Saakashvili continues to spit out threats to the Ukrainian authorities, while still failing to present massive support for his words, regardless of the site of his public rallies. However, this does not prevent the "stateless person" (as for the official definition of the State Migration Service) from rallying against the authorities, from whom he requests political asylum. The term of stay in Ukraine Saakashvili expires on December 1 this year, and it would be great for him to succeed in his struggle for Ukrainian citizenship before the winter comes.

Former chief of Ukraine’s Highly Mobile Airborne Forces, Mykhailo Zabrodsky, has become the Commander of the ATO forces. This military general is rightfully included in the Ukraine’s modern military elite, while his appointment is accompanied by two important events: his airborne troopers will abandon blue berets (formerly their invariable accessory) and replace mechanized brigades in the ATO zone. The decision seems to be designed to contribute to the ongoing search for a Donbas settlement.

Yevgeny Magda

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