Viktor Chumak, a member of the Verkhovna Rada, has been pushing for legislation to introduce a fairer electoral system.
He co-authored a bill on electoral reform that parliament failed to pass on Oct. 19. But similar legislation based on Chumak’s was approved by the Verkhovna Rada at first reading on Nov. 7 as thousands of protesters rallied outside parliament to demand the reform.
The election bill backed by protesters seeks to scrap single-mandate election districts, a major vehicle of political corruption, and introduce “open party lists,” which means that citizens will vote not only for parties themselves, but also for specific candidates nominated by the parties.
The demonstrators, who set up a tent camp in front of the Rada on Oct. 17, are also demanding the creation of an anti-corruption court, the lifting of lawmakers’ immunity from prosecution, and a bill allowing presidential impeachment.
On Oct. 19, parliament sent two bills on lifting lawmakers’ immunity for consideration to the Constitutional Court, but President Petro Poroshenko has so far failed to submit a bill on an anti-corruption court. A bill regulating presidential impeachment has been submitted by lawmaker Yuriy Derevyanko but has not yet been considered by parliament.
Protesters are planning to hold a big march for their demands on Nov. 12.