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Ukrainian MPs to be drafted?

January 14, 2015

Having written more times than enough over the years regarding Ukrainian MPs immunity (with impunity) – most recently here relating to non-liability vis a vis inviolability, an issue that has still not seen any RADA legislative time despite the enormous societal desire to see absolute immunity (and impunity) removed from the national legislature – there now comes a call from Sergei Pashynsky for a law that would allow MPs to be mobilised, and presumably therefore, sent to the eastern front.

“We will initiate amendments into the law on mobilization that all Parlamentarians without exceptions should not be able to avoid mobilization, they should be fighting together with their people and defending Ukraine while carrying arms in their hands.”

Really?

It would surely be subject to a constitutional challenge.

How is an MP supposed to democratically “discharge the duties in the interests of all compatriots” upon election and appointment, if not in the RADA to debate, legislate and/or vote?  These highlighted words form part of the oath taken by every Ukrainian MP per Article 79 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

Is it in the interests of the Ukrainian constituency that their elected legislature is fighting on the front line in a small part of eastern Ukraine – or is it in the interests of the Ukrainian constituency that its elected legislature be allowed to legislate for the entire country as they are mandated to do?

Perhaps nobody would bat an eye if Mr Pashynsky was mobilised and sent to the eastern front.  His decision making is notoriously suspect and poor – never more so than the decisions he made immediately after the 2nd May tragedy in Odessa.  Those who thought he should be metaphorically shot for the seriously poor decision he made then, would quite possibly have no compunction at seeing him sent to the eastern front and actually shot.

However if all parliamentarians without exception are to be included in mobilisation – notwithstanding any friction with the Constitution – when do we expect to see Arseny Yatseniuk on a 4 month rotation in Donetsk?  Or Volodymyr Groysman?  Perhaps Yuri Lutsenko?

It would appear incredibly suspicious if only lesser MPs seemed to get mobilised, but the old guard and/or high ranking political class always managed to avoid it.

Despite the image of Nestor Shufrych being huddled in a damp, dank trench with Oleh Lyashko, Sergei Pashynsky, Serhiy Lyovochkin et al, receiving consistent incoming fire for months on end, whilst simultaneously being “robustly educated” by those that have volunteered or been mobilised, as to how they want Ukraine to be in the future having a good degree of appeal, the question remains as to what is to be gained by removing even the most odious and obstructionist MPs from the RADA to the eastern front, when  they have been elected to sit in the RADA and legislate there?

And if any mobilisation amongst MPS appears disproportionate amongst a particular political party, or strangely high numbers of the particularly vocal group of genuine reformers that are already becoming a thorn in the side of the current government?  Does it not then appear to be a selective punishment?  How long before quiet threats are made to such people to toe the line non/selective reformist line, or be sent to the trenches so that vested interests be allowed to continue unchallenged?

Why this clearly hollow attempt by Sergei Pashynsky at unnecessary populism to portray that elected MPs fighting in the east is somehow either necessary or justified (not withstanding constitutional legalities)?

Surely the most appropriate way to deliver the appearance of equality with the general voting population during very difficult times, is to deliver what they have been demanding for years – the removal of MPs immunity (not withstanding any non-liability) so that those within the national legislature can no longer act with impunity 24/7, whilst fulfilling the democratic mandates they have been given.

Whist a great many within the Ukrainian constituency may very well like to see certain feckless, corrupt and truly odious Ukrainian MPs shot, a Ukrainian MPs place is not on fighting on the eastern front.  It is fulfilling the mandate they have been given by debating, voting and legislating in the RADA for the benefit – or ill – of the entire nation.

The merits of this Pashynsky suggestion – discounting irresponsible populism – are somewhat difficult to fathom.

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