Ukraine's parliament introduces criminal liability for piano voting

Ukraine's parliament introduces criminal liability for piano voting

Ukrinform
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has passed a law introducing amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine on ensuring personal voting by people's deputies of Ukraine at plenary meetings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

A total of 261 MPs voted for a respective decision on Thursday, December 19.

The law introduces criminal liability for a people's deputy intentionally voting in any way at a parliament meeting instead of another people's deputy (non-personal voting). This implies a fine from 3,000 (UAH 51,000) to 5,000 (UAH 85,000) non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens.

According to the document, if a people's deputy records at a plenary meeting the violation of personal voting requirements through voting instead of another people's deputy, the consideration of an agenda item is stopped at his or her request. The law defines the procedure according to which the chairperson of a plenary meeting establishes the presence of a respective people's deputy in the parliament's session hall and, if the people's deputy is absent, informs the Verkhovna Rada of the revealed fact of the violation of personal voting requirements and instructs the counting commission to seize the voting card of such a people's deputy and hand it over to the chairperson. Repeated voting must then be held on a proposal put to the vote.

After that, the chairperson instructs the parliament office to immediately prepare a report on the detected violation of personal voting requirements by an MP. Such a report, together with a protocol, transcripts of the relevant plenary meeting, as well as a video recording of the meeting, is submitted to the parliament speaker for forwarding to the State Bureau of Investigation.

Pursuant to Article 216 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a pretrial investigation into such criminal offenses will be carried out by investigators of the State Bureau of Investigation.

In addition, the law stipulates that journalists accredited in parliament may apply to the parliament office when they record facts of personal voting violations.

The law enters into force on the day after its publication in the parliament's Holos Ukrainy newspaper.

On October 29, the Verkhovna Rada approved at first reading bill No. 2148 on the introduction of amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine on ensuring personal voting by people's deputies of Ukraine.

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