The Ukrainian parliament has seen a lot of creativity: Leonid Kuchma given bast shoes, one of the speakers pelted with eggs and even anti-NATO balloons hang up in the chamber. Recent Viktor Yanukovych’s humiliation that lasted half an hour will probably take a “deserved” place in this list.
The members of BYuT assure that the idea to shake the poster and shout “Yuli voliu!” [“Release Yulia!” – Ed.] during the president’s speech was absolutely spontaneous.
“We even did not know that the president would be there, we were told that Azarov would speak. It was a pure improvisation,” member of BYuT Serhii Mishchenko told The Day.
“The opening of parliament was attended by the representatives of foreign countries. They were laughing and filming it with their phones...”
“I think they did not laugh at us but at the person who fell into a stupor for five minutes and did not know how to start speaking. We did not intend to make a show for the ambassadors or journalists. It was a spontaneous action that went from the hearts of those who participated in it.”
However, it should be noted that, despite all the sound effects, Yanukovych held himself with dignity. He calmly read his speech till the end. Members of the Party of Regions probably heard something from his speech since they applauded from time to time.
“In general, Yanukovych touched upon a number of questions that are unlikely to be resolved in the near future,” communist Spyrydon Kilinkarov shared his impression. “I do not think it is possible to reform everything at once. It is a pity that the priorities we should focus on have not been defined. The president touched upon enormous questions: the land reform, administrative reform, criminal code, and tax code. They are trying to embrace the unembraceable. I do not think it will result in anything reasonable. They have to prioritize something and decide which of these questions can be resolved today.”
However, the president mentioned one specific thing in this speech. He criticized the Minister of Education Tabachnyk. “The reform of higher education can serve as an anti-model. I emphasize – anti-model,” the president claimed.
Will the sluggish statecraft come to the logical idea of firing the anti-reformer from the Council Cabinet? There is no answer to this question now. The rumors about giving the sack to Tabachnyk have been in the air for a long time but he is still in his chair.
However, now he is out of the question. These days another question has to be resolved: who will be the next ombudsman in Ukraine. According to the law, there are 20 days left. Within this time the fractions have to decide on their candidates.
To all appearance, Nina Karpachova who has been holding this position for 14 years now is absolutely convenient to the Party of Regions. “Our fraction does not have any significant questions to Karpachova about her work,” Oleksandr Yefremov said during the briefing.
However, Karpachova has not decided what to do yet. She promised to voice her position on February 9. The opposition has already decided on their candidate: it is the famous human rights advocate Yevhen Zakharov.
Will the governing majority vote for the “opposition human rights advocate”? Everything depends on the MPs. The ombudsman or ombudswoman will be elected through a secret vote.
Today the Verkhovna Rada is supposed to vote in the first reading on a very important document which is the new Criminal Code. It has to replace the one of 1961. The members of the Party of Regions call it revolutionary. They say that these are the “documents of the European quality” and “a revolutionary breakthrough that will significantly liberalize the problem of the criminal proceedings.”
It is true that some of the regulations of the bill are a breakthrough for Ukraine. The main news is that the police will have much fewer possibilities to put people into the pre-trial prison before the verdict. There will be more possibilities for bail and a new restraint such as house arrest and agreement.
The Ukrainian courts will say goodbye to the metal cages in the courtrooms. They will be replaced by transparent barriers of bulletproof glass. Thus we will finally fulfill the European Convention on the Human Rights.