Saturday, 16 November

Well, the parliamentarians managed to finally abolish parliamentary immunity. The majority of people’s deputies supported this idea – 373. The reform comes into force by the first of January next year.  What the people’s deputies think about it online – we tell in Reactions.

Perhaps most of all, the cancellation of the immunity was cheered by President Volodymyr Zelensky, he said, they made the impossible. The guarantor thanked everyone who voted in favor and stressed that we now received a parliament, “in which MPs will not hide from the law and a society in which there will be no caste immunity from now on.” And the sixth president assures that “this is only the beginning.”

Parliament Speaker Dmytro Razumkov also praised the results of the vote, noting that “the Verkhovna Rada is not a place to escape from justice.”

Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stressed that neither he nor the European Solidarity parties have anything to fear about the abolition of their immunity, as they acted within the law, and the purpose of their stay in the Ninth Parliament is a movement to the EU and  NATO.

On the eve of voting the people’s deputy from EU and the co-author of the language law Mykola Knyazhytsky emphasized that it is impossible to vote for such a variant of the bill, as it does not provide a ban on the persecution of people’s deputies for political activity.

In the end, Knyazhytsky, together with the people’s deputies Akhtem Chyigoz and Ruslan Knyazevych, became the only ones who abstained during the voting, again emphasizing: it is unacceptable to judge a parliamentarian for a speech on television or a protest.

The people’s deputy from Poroshenko’s party Iryna Herashchenko supported the abolition of immunity, but added: it is important not to slip into authoritarianism, so that “tsunami of populism and unprofessionalism do not demolish Ukrainian democracy”.

Supported the abolition of immunity ex-Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko.  However, the politician finds it unacceptable to change the legislation on the status of a deputy which allows for the search and audition of deputies. He says this is the end of democracy.

Former people’s deputy Mustafa Nayem responded favorably to the passage of the bill, reminding those who fear the reprisal that Yanukovych at one time did not forbid persecuting anyone, “regardless of the level of holiness and inviolability.”

Political scientist Petro Oleshchuk suggests that with the abolition of the inviolability the number of “conscious” MPs may increase.

Instead, political scientist Viktor Taran is convinced that in this way parliamentarism is being destroyed and the country is moving towards authoritarianism.

Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko supported the approved bill, noting that MPs should have the same rights as ordinary Ukrainians and not be a “special caste”.

Journalist Tetyana Vysotska is convinced that in fact, inviolability is a normal democratic safeguard to protect the opposition from possible abuse of power, but in Ukraine, in her opinion, this tool has become a “screen for dishonest actions”. The author therefore fully supported the cancellation of her immunity.

Political expert Oleksiy Minakov regarded the results of the vote as a “huge plus and achievement”, adding that it would be better to reform the judicial and law enforcement systems first so that courts and law enforcement agencies do not become instruments of pressure on members of parliament and tools of punishment against political competitors.

Blogger Serhiy Marchenko believes that the removal of parliamentary immunity will not solve the problem of impunity of people’s deputies. And to the argument that “the people want the inviolability,” the author makes a counter-argument: the people also want to watch series, not read books.

Public activist Oleksandr Ravchev called the abolition of immunity a primitive populism, since this mechanism has no significant impact on either the economy or politics. However, the very fact that this idea is finally coming to naught Ravchev praises positively because politicians will now have to come up with some new promise they will lure voters with. 

Political expert and analyst of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine Denys Rybachok believes that the abolition of the immunity can be a good way for Servant of the People to “discipline” their own parliamentarians.

Viktor Shlinchak, chairman of the board of the Institute of World Politics, is also convinced that the abolition of immunity will first and foremost strike the people’s servants of the people’s deputy.

Financier and president of Univer investment group Taras Kozak believes that the abolition of the inviolability will improve the morale and professional level of the next convocations of the Verkhovna Rada, thus the value and attractiveness of the parliamentary crust for businessmen will fall and the policy will become more professional. And with it, Ukraine will be more European.

Reactions collected by inviolable Stepan the Goat

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