Status: passed as a law
Who is affected: Geo Leros, MPs, and voters
Summary of the bill: MP Geo Leros was suspended from participating in one plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
- at a meeting on February 7, 2023, MP Geo Leros said some highly insulting words about the head of the Office of the President Andrii Yermak
- on February 21, 2023, the parliamentary committee on Rules of Procedure reviewed a petition submitted by the Servant of the People faction regarding these words and recommended that the Parliament deprive Geo Leros of the right to participate in one plenary session. The petition was signed by 228 MPs.
What is right: a member of parliament is one of the most important positions in any democratic country. The rude behavior of any MP casts a shadow over the work of the entire parliament, undermines its legitimacy and effectiveness. Therefore, punishment for MPs who deliberately stir up scandals, especially during wartime, is a feasible option for resolving conflicts.
What is wrong:
- the punishment is disproportionate. Geo Leros was suspended not from just one plenary meeting, but until the end of the current parliamentary session. The eighth parliamentary session will last until the end of martial law or the official end of the current session in September of 2023
- there is a conflict of interest in the committee on Rules of Procedure of the Verkhovna Rada. Currently, five out of ten members of this committee represent the Servant of the People faction. That is, the Servant of the People faction issues complaints to the committee where the majority consists of MPs also representing the Servant of the People faction. It will be enough for the faction to find just one vote from other committee members or just wait until one member of the committee is absent at the meeting to push through any decision they want.
Alternative solution: the balance of powers in the Committee on Rules of Procedure of the Verkhovna Rada should be changed. This is one of the controlling parliamentary committees where MPs from the opposition should have the majority.
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