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As the current legislative window closes in Ukraine…….

July 14, 2015

The current legislative window closes in Ukraine at the end of this week, with Rada holidays until the Autumn upon us.

Perhaps something of a blessing considering the standard of legislation that the legislative body actually emits.

However, amongst a mountainous amount of required legislation still outstanding to lay the legal footing for (probably ineffectively implemented) reform policy, there are some pressing issues to deal with before the MPs disappear to many an expensive and exclusive holiday destination for beyond the limits of their declared incomes.

The question of raising a constitution changing 300 (plus) vote raises its head with regard to the laws and Constitutional amendments to facilitate “decentralisation”.  These matters are due to arrive and go before the Rada vote this week.

If the wobbly coalition can garner 300 (plus) votes to shepherd that through successfully, perhaps a final (second reading) 300 plus vote on stripping themselves and judges of immunity (and impunity) should also be finally forced through at the same time?

We could perhaps then spend an enjoyable summer speculating upon just how many, and which, MPs and Judges would fail to return to Ukrainian jurisdiction from their holidays if such immunity was lifted.

There is also the issue of 4 laws required (by simple majority) to facilitate the next $3.2 billion in external financing from the IMF etc.

Notwithstanding those, the new laws on (local) elections would be rather better passed this week than in the Autumn, a few weeks prior to the actual elections in October.  (Hopefully they will have been suitably amended sufficiently to avoid sleepless nights at the Venice Commission.)

An interesting few days ahead, prior to holidays and then the inevitable “closed season” jockeying for reshuffle positions within what will be a “new-look” Cabinet of Ministers that will take shape when the Rada begins “work” again.

Clearly there will be a new Health Minister, Ecology Minister, probably a new Energy Minister and possibly a new Prosecutor General.

According to the “enlightened” as of last week, the only position with somebody’s name tentatively tagged to it, is that of a new Prosecutor General – and the name tagged to it is Yuri Lutsenko (not that the enlightened are especially enamored with the prospect somewhat understandably).  There may also be a “Minister of Police” if Eka Zguladze accepts such a newly created position – and thus far she hasn’t despite being offered it.

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Anyway, this week will see the Rada either progress “decentralisation” reform (whatever that decentralisation actually is), finally remove their immunities, pass electoral legislation with sufficient time for electoral commissions to understand it prior to Autumnal polling, and avoid bankrupting the nation – or not.

Much will depend upon the “shepherding” abilities of the coalition party leaders and “whips” in what could be the final throws of anything approaching a functioning Rada.  Post local elections, it seems a reasonable bet the current Rada will grind to a halt forcing new elections in 2016 – as predicted/anticipated/foreseen by this blog at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015.

(Historically, the third and fourth Rada sessions have seen almost all grind to a halt, thus such predictions are not difficult to make.)

Let’s see how they do this week, then look forward to a summer of scuffling and elbowing behind the curtain for reshuffle positions.

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