On September 30, it became known that the head of the Servant of the People faction Davyd Arakhamiya asked Dmytro Razumkov for the signature lists for his resignation from the office of the Verkhovna Rada Speaker.
Dmytro Razumkov came to parliament from the presidential party Servant of the People. During the election, he was the chief political adviser and candidate Volodymyr Zelensky's staff spokesman.
From May to November 2019, he headed the party and later became the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada.
However, later Razumkov's and President's Office views began to differ, and rumors of Razumkov's dismissal from the position of Verkhovna Rada Chairman have been circulating in the media for several months.
In December last year, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada did not support the candidacy of Serhiy Shkarlet for the position of Minister of Education and Science, and Yuriy Vitrenko for the position of Minister of Energy. He then abstained twice.
Razumkov, as a member of the National Security and Defense Council, also did not support the introduction of sanctions by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine against three channels - 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZIK.
The speaker of parliament supported the sanctions against Opposition Platform - For Life and MP Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko, which were introduced by Ukraine, but with remarks.
Razumkov himself suggests that one of the reasons may also be his sending of the bill on oligarchs to the Venice Commission.
"Well, someone ties this to the fact that I sent the law on de-oligarchization to the Venice Commission. But if we look now, the president fully supports it, he recently had a conversation with Mr. Buquicchio," Razumkov said.
In particular, the leader of the Servants of the People faction, Davyd Arakhamiya, is dissatisfied with the fact that the Speaker of Parliament sent Bill 5599 on oligarchs to the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), and considers it an attempt to "obstruct" its consideration.
Later appeared information about bribes for the vote on Razumkov's resignation.
Razumkov said that he had asked the anti-corruption authorities to check the information about possible bribes to the Verkhovna Rada lawmakers "for a vote on some resignations."
It should be noted that according to a poll conducted by the Razumkov Center, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Dmytro Razumkov is losing in the second round of the presidential election to Volodymyr Zelensky, but 40% of those who will vote in the election are ready to support him.
Who initiated Razumkov's resignation - a faction or certain parliamentarians?
Yulia Paliychuk, a spokeswoman for the Servants of the People faction, wrote that Arakhamiya allegedly asked for signature lists separately himself.
"Regarding media reports about sending a letter to the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada with a request to instruct Office of the parliament to make relevant signature lists, we inform that this right of the MP is provided by the Law on Rules of Procedure and can be used by every MP," Paliychuk wrote.
At the same time, the press secretary of the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Olha Tuniy told journalists that "the letter on recalling the Speaker of Parliament was sent by the head of the Servants of the People faction on behalf of the parliamentary faction and not on behalf of the MP of Ukraine."
Positions of MPs, Office of the President and Razumkov
Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the President's Office, said in an interview that Razumkov had fundamental frictions with the Servant of the People party, which made him speaker. In addition, Razumkov "openly hampers the initiatives of President Volodymyr Zelensky."
The head of the Servants of the People faction, Davyd Arakhamiya, expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that the conflict with Razumkov had become known to the public. He later said that Razumkov, in his opinion, would not support the procedure of considering the bill on the oligarchs at the plenary session on September 23, which would be the final point in their friction.
"I think that Razumkov would not support such a procedure of consideration of the bill in the second reading... This would be the final point in our friction. This would mean no point of return to peace, but there is now, it is still alright" Arakhamiya said.
In one of the broadcasts, Vice Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk said that Razumkov must remember who delegated him to the position.
"I see dissatisfaction in the faction, and, as Arakhamia rightly says, anyone in the rostrum or in the leadership of the faction is a delegate from the Servant of the People, and they must always remember this and be responsible for what our party professes. Therefore, it seems to me that we need to return to the sources from which we came," Stefanchuk said.
MP from the Voice Yaroslav Zheleznyak previously assured that the faction would not support the removal of Razumkov from the office of Verkhovna Rada Chairman if such a vote takes place. However, we should add that the Voice faction recently split, which was very noticeable during the vote for the law on de-oligarchization: half of the faction supported the Servant of the People.
Razumkov, in turn, stated that he was not going to resign, that he was is not afraid of his removal from office, and is ready at the first request to give out signature lists for his resignation.
However, if such a decision is made, Razumkov will remain in politics. The speaker noted that there are a lot of MPs whom he considers his team.
Iryna Gerashchenko, the co-Chair of the European Solidarity faction, stressed that she would not vote for the resignation of the current speaker.
"We were the only faction that did not vote for his appointment. I am afraid that we will be the only faction that will not vote for his dismissal, "Gerashchenko said.
She added that Razumkov headed the electoral list of the Servant of the People party and was responsible, along with President Volodymyr Zelensky, for "all the mess" they had brought to parliament.
"But we must give due: he is trying to defend at least the minimum independence of the parliament," the MP said.
The faction of the Opposition Platform - For Life will also not support Razumkov's dismissal.
"We do not support the replacement of speaker. I believe that the speaker takes an absolutely state position, so he respects both his pro-government faction and the opposition, gives him the opportunity to speak, he adheres to the rules. The only reason why they want to replace him is because he is not fully tame and does not fulfill all the whims of the President's Office," Yuriy Boyko, co-Chairman of the Opposition Platform - For Life faction said.
Who can replace Razumkov as Speaker of Parliament?
Most likely, Servants of the People headed by President Zelensky want to see their colleague Ruslan Stefanchuk as the Chair of the Verkhovna Rada.
Back in February, it was reported that Zelensky's team had created so-called rescue "threesome" to develop laws to fulfill election promises and, accordingly, to raise his rating.
Stefanchuk moderates the work of such "threesome," and Razumkov is not involved in such work at all.
Sources in the president's team said then that all this was is done to ensure that First Deputy Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk, whom Zelensky would like to see in Razumkov's chair, be integrated into the country's decision-making chain and thus gain a career springboard.
Razumkov himself stated that when he was in self-isolation, Stefanchuk addressed the Office of the Verkhovna Rada with inquiries as to why he did not obtain the powers of Verkhovna Rada Speaker.
"As for the deputies, they must perform exactly the tasks, the instructions that the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada sets before them. And when they really want to get into another chair, they even write letters about it... Well, that's the story. Why did Ruslan Stefanchuk think that he should be the acting Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada?" Razumkov added.