The Ukrainian parliament, during its fourth session, became an institution for holding political debates, rather than taking optimal decisions, Parliament Vice Speaker Mykola Tomenko said, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

He was summing up the results of the parliament's fourth session at a press conference in Kyiv on Monday.

He said that the session had started on February 3, 2009 and lasted nearly six months, adding that 61 plenary meetings had been held over this period.

Tomenko said that during its fourth session, the parliament had adopted 185 laws, including 87 submitted by MPs, 83 by the government, and 15 by the president.

"Such statistics indicate that it has become quite obvious over this period that the president has no support in parliament and is no longer a real player in the legislative process," he said.

Tomenko said that July had been the most unfruitful and conflict-ridden month of this year.

"Over this period, the Verkhovna Rada considered 14 bills, but passed only one as a whole," he said, adding that "attention should be paid to the attendance of parliament meetings by MPs."

"Nine MPs, including eight from the Regions Party, failed to attend meetings over 60 times for unclear reasons," he said.

He said that only 18 MPs had attended all of the meetings of the parliament during its fourth session.

"In general, the fourth session of the Verkhovna Rada saw some progress in legislative activities, [but] in most cases it was dominated by political conflict over election activities in the context of the future election campaign. Therefore, the parliament, acted, first and foremost, as an institution for holding a political debate, rather than taking the best decisions," he said


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