Ukrainian parliament in crisis because of Zelensky – media

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The president has reduced the national legislature to a tool for rubber-stamping his decisions, a major outlet has said

Ukraine is now essentially under the personal rule of President Vladimir Zelensky, online outlet Ukrainskaya Pravda (UP) reported on Wednesday. He has virtually stripped the national parliament – the Verkhovna Rada – of its powers and reduced it to a mere rubber-stamp body, UP said in a lengthy investigative piece based on numerous interviews with Ukrainian MPs.

The Rada has long been tightly controlled by the administration, UP reported. The paper said that the president’s office was not only determining the priority of bills on the agenda but also deciding “whether the parliament should convene at all or the MPs should be promptly sent to the trenches.”

“The president’s office despises the parliament,” an unnamed senior MP reportedly said. Zelensky and his team believe his party – the Servant of the People – which holds a majority in the legislature, “would vote for anything” the president needs, according to the top lawmaker.

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Meanwhile, Zelensky is losing support within his own party, UP claimed. In the last parliamentary election in 2019, the Servant of the People got 254 seats in the Rada. Now this number has been reduced to 235 due to lawmakers leaving the president’s party, it added. Many of them, who are still formally considered members, are just skipping parliamentary sessions, according to the outlet’s sources. Only between 170 and 180 Servant of the People MPs still actively vote on bills, the sources stated.

”First of all, everyone is tired of the war,” a senior lawmaker told UP. Members also understand they are “not influencing the developments in the state and see no role for themselves in the Rada or any sense of being there,” he said.

According to the article, the president’s faction in the parliament is on the verge of “total disorganization,” with MPs apparently ready to surrender their mandates and leave altogether. Dozens have already attempted to do so, UP reported, citing its sources. A “lion’s share” of members would also like to see the parliament dissolved, it added.

Zelensky deals with the parliament “from a position of power,” the UP said, and the parliament essentially works only when the president “needs something.” Otherwise, it is “unable to function” and the Ukrainian leader could not care less about it, the outlet wrote.


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The absence of real power in the Rada also makes those on the other side of the aisle reluctant to take over the reins, according to the article. “Our ruling [party] has no power and the opposition avoids it as well,” an opposing politician said. He explained that “no one needs any authority or power” and everyone just thinks about escaping responsibility for current conditions in the country.

“We have a unique situation in Ukraine: one person decides everything,” another opposition MP complained. “There is one very specific decision-making center,” he said, referring to Zelensky.

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