Thorough analysis of the activities of the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, suggest the “old” coalition is de facton functioning which is reflected in their voting.
The Verkhovna Rada of the 8th convocation has registered a record number of draft laws compared to the previous convocations parliaments. “Over two years, MPs have registered 4,600 bills. This figure is unrealistic to consider at plenary meetings. To do this, Parliament would have to consider 37 bills every day,” said Oleksii Koshel, Director General, Committee of Voters of Ukraine, at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. A third of draft laws were submitted by individual members of the parliament (MPs). The Ministry of Finance has recognized 1,579 of the 4,583 analyzed draft laws as unrealistic for implementation. “In other words, every third draft law is unrealistic due to the lack of state funds. This indicates that Parliament has plunged into “financial populism,” stated Oleksii Koshel.
“Champions” of financial populism – Oppoblok, Vidrodzhennya and Volya Narodu
The faction of Opposition bloc is number one in “financial populism rating” – the Ministry of Finance recognized as unrealistic 53%, that is, every second draft law they submitted. Vidrodzhennya and Volya Narodu rank second with 47% and 45% of such draft laws. Batkivshchyna comes third with 35%, followed by the Oleh Lyashko Radical Party and Petro Poroshenko Bloc with 33%. Narodnyi Front and Samopomich are at the end of the list with 29%. Oppoblok also headed the list of parties that gave the least number of “for” votes concerning the adopted laws: an average of 26% of Opposition bloc MPs supported these laws. “One of our main conclusions is that Opposition bloc actually boycotts the draft laws, even if the latter can be part of their political position,” noted Oleksii Koshel. For example, Opoblok promised social support to the military, but these draft laws were supported by only 6% of their MPs, 50% – by Batkivshchyna faction, 78% – by Samopomich MPs, 77% – Narodnyi Front, 69% – Petro Poroshenko Bloc, 67% – Radical Party.
160 laws adopted over 2016, 75% are in fact amendments to the current legislation
The authors of the study noted that this year of 1500 draft laws, only 160 laws have been adopted, as compared with 350 laws in the previous year. “It is one of the lowest figures over the last 10 years,” noted Denys Rybachok, analyst, Committee of Voters of Ukraine. About 75% of them are amendments to the current legislation, and only 25% – the laws regulating the new area. The majority of the adopted laws related to economic policy (17), security and defense (16) and the fight against corruption and crime (14). Of 160 adopted laws, 85 have been initiated by MPs, 23 – by President and 53 – by the Cabinet of Ministers. For the most part representatives of the current coalition have voted for the draft laws, while “Opposition bloc” and Vidrodzhennya have voted against them.
Former coalition de facto continues to work
The analysis of the voting results also showed that the old coalition “European Ukraine” de facto continues to function: 50% to 70% of the forces that position themselves as the opposition have voted in favor of the laws. On average, 77% of Narodnyi Front and 71% of Petro Poroshenko Bloc deputies have voted for the laws. Samopomich has supported 68% of votes, Oleh Lyashko Radical Party – 54%, Batkivshchyna – 54%. “That is, despite their statements that they are in opposition circles, Samopomich, Oleh Lyashko Radical Party and Batkivshchyna have supported three quarters of the draft laws,” noted Oleksii Koshel. The same trend is seen in the fact that the authors of the adopted laws are mostly the former members of the coalition: 65 representatives of the Poroshenko Bloc, 61 – of Narodnyi Front, 35 – of Samopomich, 27 – of Batkivshchyna, and 24 – of Oleh Lyashko Radical Party. The deputies from different factions quite often are the co-authors of the laws.
Legislative initiative should be more complicated
According to Committee of Voters of Ukraine members, to deal with excessive number of poor draft laws it is necessary to change the mechanisms of legislative work. “The subject of legislative initiative should be some deputies numbering not less than the smallest faction in parliament rather than one deputy. Thus, the deputy will not be able to register a draft law for the purpose of his publicity stunt. […] As a result, we will have more realistic quality draft laws and reduce the number of “legislative spam,” noted Oleksii Koshel. It is also necessary that during registration of draft laws the deputies should clearly indicate how much the implementation the draft laws will cost, and where the money is supposed to be taken from.