Vik­tor Chu­mak

Kyiv Post - - Opinion - – Oleg Sukhov

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.

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