Parubiy handed over a law with an open vote procedure for the Ombudsman to the President to sign

Дата: 19 July 2017
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Andriy Parubiy, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, sent the text of the Law “On the Constitutional Court” to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in which the procedure for election of the Ombudsman provides for an open vote of deputies, although an amendment for a secret voting procedure was voted for on July 13 at the plenary session.

As reported by Bohdan Kryklyvenko, Head of the Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, on his Facebook page.

“Yes, there was no surprise, the article of the regulation was written out with the wording about changing the voting for candidates for the post of Commissioner from secret voting to open voting! We are waiting for the President’s signature”, – he wrote.

As a reminder, on July 13, the Parliament voted the law on the Constitutional Court in the second reading and in general.

Before voting for the bill as a whole, the deputies voted separately for amendments to it. Deputy Olga Chervakova proposed an amendment to maintain the procedure of secret voting for the election of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (the new bill on the CCS provided for an open voting in the Parliament for the Ombudsman candidacy). She read the essence of the amendment out loud and called the number of the amendment 536. 227 deputies voted for the amendment. But then it turned out that the amendment to the number 536 concerns another issue. Chervakova insists that the deputies voted for the text of the amendment. Moreover, the text of amendment number 536 was put to a vote earlier and has not gained the required amount of votes.

People’s deputies and human rights defenders appealed to the Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy with a demand to ensure the correct display of the final text of the Law “On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine” (registration number 6427-d).

In particular, public organizations that are members of the Human Rights Agenda coalition have said in a statement that the wording on the open voting procedure for the post of Ombudsman in the law would mean falsification of the will of the deputies.

“Despite the fact that the number of the amendment was wrongly named, the text of the verbatim clearly stated the concrete essence of this proposal. 227 people’s deputies supported it during the vote. Immediately after considering this agenda item, information on the voting results was displayed on the official website of the parliament as a vote for a proposal to the bill. But in a few minutes it was changed to another, incorrect correction, which does not correspond to the essence of the proposed proposal and a vote on this proposal was never held”, – the human rights defenders of the coalition explain.

They call such actions an attempt to manipulate the Verkhovna Rada’s apparatus for further falsifying the text of the adopted bill and the continuation of closed political bidding that began around the election of a new Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights in May this year.

The Human Rights Agenda notes that the procedure for electing the Ombudsman was not be considered at all in the framework of the bill on the Constitutional Court.

Human rights defender explain that an open voting will further politicize the position of the Ombudsman, since with such a procedure it will be easier for faction leaders to control the voting of their deputies for the “desired” candidacy. In addition, the secret voting procedure was approved by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and supported by other international democratic institutions.

On May 10, human rights defenders called 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.

However 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 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 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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