MPs dismissed the Commissioner for Human Rights, allocated more funding for defense needs, and proposed to impose sanctions against patriarch Kirill of the russian orthodox church.
Vote of no confidence against the Commissioner for Human Rights
Draft Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada # 7421 of May 31, 2022
Who is affected: inhabitants of Ukraine and Lyudmyla Denisova.
Summary of the resolution: Lyudmyla Denisova is dismissed as the Commissioner for Human Rights
What is wrong:
the dismissal of Denisova is a violation of the guaranteed independence of the State Commissioner for Human Rights. The Commissioner can be legitimately dismissed only in cases defined in the law
the resolution violates the law On the Legal Regime of Martial Law that prohibits dismissing the Commissioner for Human Rights while martial law is in effect
the dismissal of Denisova will be challenged in court. The former Commissioner will probably be restored to her position.
What else: in 2017, the Verkhovna Rada introduced an open ballot system for voting for the candidates for the Commissioner for Human Rights and dismissal of the Commissioner. That decision made the institution political and thus violated the requirement that the Commissioner has to be independent of other state bodies and officials.
Allocation of extra funding for state defense needs
Draft bill # 7413 of May 26, 2022
Status: adopted as a law.
Who is affected: the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the SSU, the Chief Directorate of Intelligence, the Foreign Intelligence Service, IDPs, pensioners, and political parties.
Summary of the bill:
expenditures from the government budget in 2022 will be increased by ₴287 bln (the surplus expected to be received from external loans)
state funding of political parties will be terminated starting from the second quarter of 2022
the Cabinet gets the authority to reallocate budget funds at its discretion without consulting the Budget Committee of the Verkhovna Rada
expenditures on the needs of the Ministry of Defense will be increased by ₴166 bln (₴78 bln will be spent on salaries in the defense sector)
expenditures on the needs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (including the National Guard, the National Police, the State Border Service, the State Emergency Service, and the State Migration Service) by ₴76 bln (₴56 bln will be spent on salaries for these agencies)
expenditures on the needs of the chief Directorate of Intelligence will be increased by ₴1 bln, the SSU — by ₴2.7 bln
additional funding of almost ₴6 bln will be allocated for the eHelp program
₴12.5 bln will be allocated to aid the IDPs and additional ₴20 bln — for the Pension Fund.
What is right: an increase in government expenditures is a necessity. Ukraine has to spend more on the needs of defense and security, provide aid for IDPs, and ensure continuity of pension payments.
What is wrong:
the removal of parliamentary control over the reallocation of government funds creates unjustified risks of abuse by the executive branch in a time when the freedom of speech and other civic control mechanisms over the activities of the executive branch are significantly restricted due to the war and martial law
termination of state funding of political parties will increase their dependency on oligarchic capital and looks like an attempt by the parties in power to oppress their competitors. The draft bill does not propose to cut or suspend any other state-funded program.
Alternative solution: to strengthen controlling mechanisms over budget expenditures. Otherwise, the level of corruption in the executive branch and the percentage of state funding misuse will significantly increase.
Sanctions against the leadership of the russian orthodox church
Draft Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada # 7332 of April 29, 2022
Who is affected: the leadership of the russian orthodox church
Summary of the resolution: proposes the National Security and Defense Council to impose sanctions — to block assets, impose a ban on business operations, and annul official visits — against the following persons:
patriarch Kirill (Vladimir Gundyayev)
chairman of the department of external church relations Hilarion (Grigoriy Alfeyev) and his deputy archpriest Nikolay Balashov
- metropolitan of Pskov Tikhon (Georgiy Shevkunov)
What is right: it is justified to impose these sanctions since the leadership of the russian orthodox church on multiple occasions voiced its support for the aggressive russian war against Ukraine and used its position as clergymen to promote and justify this aggressive war.
What’s next: a final decision to impose sanctions has to be made by the National Security and Defense Council, and the President has to enact it with his decree.
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