The parliament has retain the secret voting procedure for candidates for the post of Ombudsman

Дата: 13 July 2017
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On July 13, the Verkhovna Rada had retained the secret voting procedure for the candidacy of the new Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

As reported by the acting Commissioner Valeriya Lutkovska on her Facebook page.

The day before the deputies had not supported the amendments to the draft law “On the Constitutional Court”, which should cancel the open voting procedure of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

As noted by reporter of the Human Rights Information Centre, on the whole the amendments to the bill have not received the support among the deputies.

“These amendments are principal. The draft law destroys the Ombudsman institution, since this draft law proposes to make the voting open. Earlier it was a closed voting. Close voting system was supported by all Ombudsmen of Europe, who have addressed us with the thesis that this post is under the risk of being politicized. This position can not be a position that is exchanged between the Petro Poroshenko Bloc and the People’s Front political factions for other political “agreements”, – as stated by Alyona Shkrum, Deputy from the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) political party, in the Parliament.

Olga Chervakova, Deputy from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PBB) political party, demanded in the Parliament to cancel an open vote for the Ombudsman. She is convinced that the Parliament provokes an international scandal, since the secret voting procedure was approved by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

”A secret voting procedure is required for hostages, for those people who are currently in captivity”, – she added.

The Parliament has finally voted for the amendment 536, 227 people voted for the amendment.

In addition, the Parliament has not voted for the amendment, which obliges the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights to be in office only for one term.

After the voting non-factional Deputy Yuriy Levchenko noted on the inadmissibility of subordinating the institution of the Ombudsman to the executive authorities.

“After the vote was saw Arsen Avakov and leaders of other factions come running to the Presidium of the Speaker and attempted to illegally return this amendment for the reconsideration. The amendment has passed! There is no way back!”, – he stated.

The deputies have voted for the bill “On the Constitutional Court” (CCU) in the second reading and gave 245 votes in favor.

Meanwhile, Bohdan Kryklyvenko, Head of the Ombudsman’s Secretariat, announced about the falsification on the web-page of the Parliament in the section of the voting results.

He noted on his Facebook page that Olga Chervakova is not the author of the amendment as it is corrected on the web-page of the Parliament.

“Whole hall and 277 people’s deputies have heard what they are voting for. Or does anyone think that people’s deputies know all the 700 amendments to the draft on the Constitutional Court by the numbers? Without retained a secret voting for the Commissioner, the Rada would not have gave 245 votes for the Law on the CCU”, – wrote Bohdan Kryklyvenko.

As a reminder, on July 11, Andriy Parubiy, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, made a suggestion to deputies to consider a bill on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, but the deputies have not supported this initiative. The day before, a statement appeared on the Facebook page of the Human Rights Agenda, it stated that open voting for the Ombudsman “will greatly simplify the factions chairmen’s control over the people’s deputies after conducting a political bid for this post”.

As a reminder, on April 28, a five-year term of office for the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Valeriya Lutkovska has ended.

On May 10, human rights defenders call on the Parliament to elect a new Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights without political influence, as well as manipulation and hold an open competition with the involvement of civil society representatives for consultations for this purpose.

On May 22, the international human rights organization Freedom House called on People’s Deputies to hold consultations with civil society before electing the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

On May 24, the Human Rights Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine recognized the candidacies of deputies Lyudmyla Denisova (People’s Front political party), Serhiy Alexeyev (Petro Poroshenko Bloc political party) and lawyer Andriy Mamalyga as those that meet the requirements of the Law on the Ombudsman, and allowed them to compete for this post.

On May 29, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) recommended for the Verkhovna Rada to change the procedure for the election and appointment of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

On June 6, the issue of electing the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights was not considered, since the National Agency on Corruption Prevention failed to verify the candidates in time.

On June 9, the NGO Reanimation Package of Reforms called on the Verkhovna Rada to begin a new procedure for the election of the Ombudsman, since after June 6, voting for the Ombudsman’s candidacies will be a violation of Article 6 of the Law “On the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights”. After all, the document clearly stipulates that voting should take place within 20 days from the beginning of the procedure.

On June 23, the Parliamentary Committee on human rights appealed to Speaker Andriy Parubiy with a proposal to create a nomination commission. It must incorporate transparent consultations with qualified human rights organizations in accordance with the Paris Principles. As of July 12, the Chairman of the Parliament has not responded to the appeal of the Committee.

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