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Deprivation of immunity will not reduce number of untouchable MPs in Ukraine

Author : Andrey Kokotiukha

21:47, 19 October 2017
Deprivation of immunity will not reduce number of untouchable MPs in Ukraine

Author : Andrey Kokotiukha

"Immunity has become a guarantee of impunity," the president Poroshenko said

21:47, 19 October 2017

Read original article at 112.ua

112 Agency

The president said - the president did. A month ago, during his annual message to Verkhovna Rada, Petro Poroshenko called for the abolition of parliamentary immunity for deputies of new convocation as of January 1, 2020. It is indicative that the head of state submitted this idea to the parliament on the morning of October 17 - on this day the forces called themselves oppositionists gathered on a protest action near the Rada. And words about the immunity sounded among the requirements, though not among basic. And although such a bill already exists, and Speaker Andriy Parubiy instructed the profile committee to immediately consider both, Petro Poroshenko wants to make the first action.

"Immunity has become a guarantee of impunity," the president said. And waiting for responses about the need to simultaneously deprive the president himself of immunity, I propose to think whether this will solve the global Ukrainian problem of impunity in everyday life. Unfortunately, impunity has become a norm of our life, much more dangerous than the legendary corruption with which everyone is fighting - even the opposition, even social activists, and even social networks.

The presidential intention to abolish parliamentary immunity as much as in three years does not look good intention, but very similar to populist slogans. The head of state allegedly demonstrates that he hears Ukrainians who are dissatisfied with the quality of the parliament. But citizens demand changes here and now. And if once the relevant decisions could reduce the salaries of the present deputies, formally nothing prevents to deprive the parliamentarians of the present, and not the next, cadence of immunity. That is, to start this parliamentary reform from January 2018, not 2020.

However, ask yourself, will this solve the problem of impunity of officials in the short, or even in the long term? Do you remember how greatly people's deputies suffered after cutting their salaries? Nothing changed. They also missed their parliamentary sessions because of which they failed to vote for important laws for the development of Ukraine. Or they voted "right", getting black cash for lobbying. Electronic declaration eloquently proved: there are no deputies, except perhaps Mykhailo  Gavrilyuk, who live on their salary.

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With the deprivation of immunity, the same will happen. If you think that the deputy Parasyuk will be punished once he started brawls and quarrels at the first opportunity, you are deeply mistaken. Because there are dozens such people in Ukraine, if not more. Again I want to remember the infamous Olexandr Muzychko, or Sashko Bilyi. Unprotected by any status of immunity, he walked openly through the streets of Rivne with Kalashnikov rifle. And anyone who would have tried to find law and order on him would be immediately called a servant of the criminal regime.

Okay, let Muzychko have the status of such a people's avenger. But how to deal with Yuri Chekan, who on October 5 deliberately destroyed a memorial plaque to the heroes of the Heavenly Hundred? He was not punished at all. They detained him and released. Perturbation of social networks have no boundaries. But virtual activists are equally resentful to other numerous facts of impunity. Public servants who have no immunity are implicated in resonant road accidents, including deaths, and children are often killed or traumatized. This is not only representatives of the executive power. I talk about judges, prosecutors and their employees, as well as businessmen of varying degrees of influence. They just live in Ukraine, confident that they are not criminals and will not be punished.

Consequently, the possible abolition of deputy immunity will be only a cosmetic procedure. Trust in parliament will not increase in our society, as well as its effectiveness. If Parasyuk is elected again, he will continue to behave as he does now. Because even a small removal of immunity (for example, from Onishchenko or Rosenblatt) did not guarantee the inevitability of punishment for what was done. After all, impunity exists not only within the walls of the Verkhovna Rada. So, it was the society that created for the untouchables a peculiar pillow of security - no matter where they work, no matter what their status is.

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