On Tuesday, October 22, Ukrainian parliament failed to approve the agenda for the plenary week, though it was agreed the day before during the sitting of the coordination board. And though the agenda included two draft bills Ukraine must adopt within the requirement of the Association agreement, the opposition refused to vote. 

Regardless of urgent consultations among faction leaders and with President's representative in the parliament Yuri Myroshnychenko, speaker Volodymyr Rybak had no choice but to close the morning session early.

Further attempts to approve the agenda after the pause failed again. Having understood that no consensus could be reached the speaker closed the evening session early as well.

So, what does such behavior of the opposition mean and what do other MPs  think of it?

Oles Doniy, non-factional MP:

- It looks like the opposition factions and some groups within the ruling party agreed their actions to sabotage the sitting and discredit the Cabinet. As a rule, backstage agreements the public does not know about settle the problem, and I think in a day or two the agenda will be approved.

Volodymyr Lukyanov, MP from the Party of Regions:

- It was not a good example of well-done job. Every year we spend about 300 million hryvnias for the parliament, but MPs behave like small children on a playground - want to do this, do not want to do that. I think voters have a good possibility to estimate the work of the factions and make proper conclusions. However, I believe the things will work out by Thursday. 

Serhiy Myshchenko, non-factional MP:

- In this situation the parties must sit down and talk. If there is no will to work, the parliament must dissolve. Why should citizens pay money to the parliament, which does not want to work? However, I  think a certain share of blame can be put on the ruling party. The opposition did not vote for the agenda, because it was against such agenda  - there were no draft bills submitted by the opposition, and the draft bills included were too provocative for the opposition to support them.

Vadym Kolesnichenko, MP from the Party of Regions:

The situation is very complicated. It is obvious that the Association agreement will be signed, as Europe needs it even more than Ukraine, in the first place. Leaders of the parliamentary minority have found themselves back at the bottom of the ladder. They do not head the integration process, they do not bring any positive results, and their mantras on Tymoshenko become tiring.

Take, for example, the latest statement of Arseniy Yatseniukm who said there was no need to adopt special laws for Tymoshenko. Even his colleagues from the opposition start questioning his methods. First he submitted a draft bill on treatment abroad, then he insisted to send Tymoshenko abroad as a convict and bring her back for further servicing, and now he does not want any laws at all. His colleagues told him in the face that either he was inadequate or a scammer and blackmailer. Obviously Yatseniuk had nothing to say about it. The fact is that neither Yatseniuk, nor Klichko, nor Tyagnybok wants Tymoshenko free and active in the political process, as they have already sliced and diced her political heritage.

Ivan Popesku, chairman of the permanent parliamentary delegation to the Council of Europe, MP from the Party of Regions:

- You know, on one hand the opposition says it supports the European integration, but on the other hand it blocks the parliament to obstruct the very process. What they do is pure parasitism - they come to work, get the money, but do absolutely nothing.

As for the European integration laws, we still have to adopt the law on prosecutor's office and introduce amendments to the law on elections. The situation with Tymoshenko is pure speculations. The Council of Europe repeatedly declared that the Tymoshenko case must be solved according to the legislation in force. But instead of seeking a compromise the opposition decided to block the parliament. In fact, did you notice the tendency that when a European commissioner or a mission arrives in Ukraine, the parliament gets blocked to fuel a scandal and put forward some claims? Such approach is totally unconstructive and non-European. In Europe, as a rule, the ruling authorities and opposition adopt laws together.

Oleh Zarubinki, MP from the Party of Regions:

- The decision not to adopt the agenda for the plenary week was absolutely ungrounded. It seems like the closer we come to the signing of the Association agreement, the more the opposition factions resist the process. Apparently, they are losing their argumentation base for further propaganda. Thus, I believe their unwillingness to consider and adopt the draft bills is a manifestation of their unwillingness to complete the European integration.

Mykhailo Chechetov, MP from the Party of Regions:

- On our part we will do everything possible to make the parliament work. The opposition is trying to present the Tymoshenko issue as a European problem, but it is an internal affair of our country, nothing more. In fact the EU is more concerned about outburst of neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism, like neo-Nazi symbols, hung out in Lviv during the roundtable with European MPs, or the march of gunners-ultranationalists. If someone thinks it will help us to enter the EU, he is wrong.

And now, due to the poor behavior of the opposition we cannot adopt euro-laws. These miserable politicians try to stir up the Tymoshenko problem and obstruct the European ambitions of Ukraine. However, we won't let them to sabotage the signing of the Association agreement.

Oleksandr Zubchevski, MP from the Communist party:

- You should ask the so-called opposition parties - "UDAR", "Freedom", "Motherland" - why they did not vote for the agenda, previously agreed at the coordination board sitting. I am surprised, because the agenda included not only the European integration laws, I do not care much about, but also the draft bills submitted by our party and by the opposition itself, like cancellation of the pension reform or introduction of the moratorium on closing schools in rural areas. People are waiting for social laws to be adopted, and the position of the opposition is not quite clear.

They play politics and bargain on Yulia Tymoshenko, but what I don't understand is that they do not insist on considering draft bills of Tymoshenko release. They speak in generalities, but do not do anything concrete. Thus, you should ask them why they do not want to consider and adopt their own draft bills.

Anyway, such destructive position does not help to improve the image of Ukrainian parliament and may have a negative impact on all political parties.

Yaroslav Sukhoy, MP from the Party of Regions:

- You know, nothing can surprise me in the parliament anymore. I have only one question left unclear - where is the bottom of sheer cynicism the opposition can fall to?

The opposition demonstrates obvious political ignorance. There are working questions to solve and technical documents to adopt, but they refuse to vote. They speak only about Tymoshenko and European integration, but the fact is that these talks are just talks and publicity moves, as the only thing they really care about is power at whatever the cost.

But we can do without them. We will mobilize the forces and will focus on the projects people  expect from us.


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