A top issue in the news is a criminal case against one of the MPs who made an obscene gesture at the President. State institutions, though, continue to work. In particular, MPs plan to allow housing and building cooperatives to buy natural gas for lower prices, address a collision in the rules of procedure, and demand from the Cabinet a report on the situation with the coronavirus.
Set a fair price on natural gas for housing and building cooperatives
Draft bill #6251 of November 1, 2021
Cosponsors: a group of twenty MPs from Batkivshchyna, Holos, and Opposition Block — For Life factions, groups Trust and For the Future with Yuliia Tymoshenko as the first signatory.
Who is affected: members of housing and building cooperatives, NJSC Naftogaz, the Cabinet, and the President.
Summary of the draft bill: members of housing cooperatives and building cooperatives will be recognized as collective household consumers. They will have the same rights as other household consumers.
Why this is important: Naftogaz set the price for household consumers at UAH 7.96 per cubic meter for this heating season. However, according to the head of the Union of Consumers of Public Utilities Oleh Popenko, the head of the NGO Resource Center for Housing Cooperatives Mykhailo Vasiuta, and comments on Naftogaz Facebook page, housing and building cooperatives that own heating plants get proposals to buy gas for the same prices as commercial consumers: UAH 25-35 per cubic meter.
By not recognizing housing and building cooperatives that own heating plants as household consumers, Naftogaz discriminates against them. The Cabinet has not kept its promise to set a single price for natural gas for all household consumers.
What is right: housing and building cooperatives are in fact household consumers so it is fair that they will pay the same price as others.
Return the former speaker and his former deputies back to their factions
Draft bill #6294 of November 8, 2021
Sponsor: Heorhii Mazurashu, Servant of the People faction.
Who is affected: the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, his first deputy and deputy.
Summary of the draft bill: Speaker of the Parliament, First Deputy Speaker, and Deputy Speaker will automatically become members of their former factions if dismissed.
Why this is important:
- according to the rules of procedure of the Verkhovna Rada, the Speaker, the First Deputy Speaker, and Deputy Speakers have to be independent
- according to the Constitution, political parties can dismiss MPs that left their factions. Thus, there is a collision between the rules of procedure and the Constitution: heads of the Parliament are always at mercy of their parties
- former Speaker Dmytro Razumkov risks falling victim to this collision: to become a speaker, he left the party, and now his faction does not want to accept him back.
What is right: the draft bill will put to an end the absurd situation with the Servant of the People faction and the former Speaker.
What is wrong: the draft bill does not address the real problem with the rules of procedure that require for the Speaker and deputies to leave their factions. The Speaker and deputies can be dismissed at any moment because of this rule.
Alternative solution: allow the Speaker and deputies to stay in their factions. This will prevent parties from abusing the rules.
Urge Ukrainians to vaccinate
Draft resolution #6249 of November 1, 2021
Cosponsors: seven MPs including Petro Poroshenko, European Solidarity faction, Yaroslav Zhelezniak, the head of Holos faction, Taras Batenko, the co-head of For the Future group, and Olena Kondratiuk, the Deputy Speaker.
Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, the President, the Cabinet, the executive branch, and medics.
Summary of the resolution:
- urges Ukrainian citizens to vaccinate against the coronavirus
- demands from the President, the Cabinet, and executive bodies to provide adequate remuneration for medics, to establish more hospital beds and buy more oxygen, open more vaccination points
- demands from the President, the Cabinet, and executive bodies to report on the results of the fight against the coronavirus.
What is right: the opposition is trying to fulfill its key duty to oversee the work of the government.
What is wrong:
- information requests would be a more effective tool than a draft bill in this case
- the opposition does not address the issue of unconstitutional restrictions introduced by the Cabinet. The Parliament and the President de facto shifted the responsibility to fight the coronavirus on the Government.
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