The political season will start on September 5. The opening of the fall parliamentary session is commonly seen as the start of the season. Tanned and well-rested MPs have already appeared at a meeting of the parliament’s coordination board and delivered some slogans and statements. Of course, every person has the right to rest, as guaranteed by our Constitution, but our representatives have never burdened themselves with much work even during working hours, especially in the summer. It has always been this way. It is just that it looks too cynical when the country is fighting a war, especially when, for example, American legislators imposed sanctions on our main enemy, that is, the Kremlin, while most Ukrainian deputies were having good time on some islands.
The parliament’s speaker Andrii Parubii said on September 4 that passing five reforms involving education, healthcare, judiciary, pensions, and parliamentary regulations will be the priority for the Verkhovna Rada this fall. “This fall, we should focus on reforms. Last spring we prepared the basis for many important and fundamental reforms, and we have a chance, and I am sure we have the responsibility to allow each of these reforms to be deliberated on in the chamber,” Parubii said. The speaker proposed to start with deliberations on the education reform. The next one will be determined depending on the outcome of consultations. Urgent issues to be considered by parliament at the session include filling positions that have remained unfilled since spring of last year, in particular those of members of the Central Election Commission (CEC), the Accounting Chamber, and human rights commissioner.
By the way, with regard to the CEC, it is a crying shame, because of the 15 members of the present CEC, 12 had their seven-year terms of office expired in June 2014 (and another one in February 2017). But there is still no new CEC...
Photo by Artem SLIPACHUK, The Day
The Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s faction in the Verkhovna Rada will support the bill on the reform of the education system in the final reading and demands that the bills on judicial reform be considered during the first week of the session. This was stated by head of the faction Artur Herasymov at the meeting of the coordination board. Meanwhile, the Radical Party’s faction insists on participation of parliament in preparation of the bill on reintegration of the Donbas.
Batkivshchyna’s leader Yulia Tymoshenko has announced her intent to hold consultations on combining efforts with other opposition democratic political forces. The government should forestall any real threats for Ukraine emerging in connection with the Russian-Belarusian military exercise Zapad-2017, said head of the People’s Front faction Maksym Burbak.
Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman has also made his opinions known. He stated that the new session of the Verkhovna Rada could be a significant step towards achieving systemic changes and fundamental reforms in this country. “A total of 226 votes of our legislators will enable us to raise pensions for nine million pensioners. We have been waiting for it for decades. We must carry out a high-quality educational reform. We must reform the healthcare system and adopt a number of important bills that will affect business development. What do we need today? The responsibility on the part of every political force and every MP which would enable this session to be successful and give us the opportunity to continue the changes and make these changes felt by the public,” said the prime minister.