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Parliament passes bill on impeachment

Parliament passes bill on impeachment
Photo: Anna Steshenko

The Ukrainian parliament has adopted bill No 1012 "On a special procedure for removing the president of Ukraine from office (impeachment)".

In the first reading, the bill was supported by 337 MPs.

A few minutes after this, MPs gave the second reading to the bill. It was supported by 245 MPs. Only representatives of the propresidential Servant of the People voted for the bill. The remaining factions reported a violation of the procedure and refused to support the bill.

The bill on impeachment was introduced by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with the aim of creating a legal framework to ensure parliamentary control over the observance of the constitution and laws of Ukraine by the head of state, and restoring the system of checks and balances by ensuring the practical implementation of the impeachment procedure.

The adopted law provides that:

the impeachment procedure is initiated by the majority of MPs from the constitutional composition of parliament;

for the purpose of a full, comprehensive and impartial investigation, a special temporary investigation commission is formed, which will include MPs (taking into account the principle of proportional representation of deputy factions and groups), a special prosecutor and special investigators;

protection of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the head of state during the impeachment procedure is ensured by lawyers of the president of Ukraine;

a special temporary investigation commission prepares conclusions and proposals regarding the commission of treason or another crime by the president;

the plenary session of parliament, at which these conclusions and proposals are considered, should be open (except for cases where the conclusions and proposals or the materials attached to them contain information constituting state or other secret protected by law);

after parliament decides to charge the president, parliament contacts the Constitutional Court (to obtain an opinion on compliance with the constitutional investigation procedure and to ask it to consider the case on the removal of the president of Ukraine from the post as part of impeachment) and the Supreme Court (to obtain an opinion that the acts of which the president is accused contain signs of treason or another crime);

a decision to oust the president from office by impeachment is taken only if the conclusions of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court confirm compliance with the requirements of the constitution and laws of Ukraine;

the corresponding decision is considered adopted if at least three-fourths of Ukrainian MPs from the constitutional composition of parliament vote for it;

if parliament fails to pass a resolution on the removal of the president from office by impeachment, the chairman on behalf of parliament will apologize to the president.

This law also excludes the articles describing the impeachment procedure from the parliamentary regulations.

Although the constitution provides for the president's impeachment, there is no law on the matter. Under the constitution in effect, the president can be impeached if he or she commits high treason or other crime.

In June 2019, parliament passed a bill on investigation commissions but President Zelenskyy has not signed it yet.

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