Verkhovna Rada Backed Bill on Resumption of Competitions for Civil Service Positions with Proposals from President

Tue, 23/02/2021 - 13:30

The Parliament held an extraordinary sitting to consider the bill on Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Resumption of Competitions for Civil Service Positions and Other Civil Service Issues (4531 dated 21.12.2020).

Last week, President Volodymyr Zelensky vetoed this bill, which the Verkhovna Rada adopted on February 16 in the second and final readings with 289 votes in favor and a total of 282 MPs also supported a prompt signing of the bill.

Today, a total of 267 MPs backed the bill with the propositions from the President as final.

Authors: The bill was submitted by Oleksandr Korniienko (“Servant of the People” parliamentary faction) and other MPs.

According to the Main Scientific and Expert Department, it would not have been proper to support what the President of Ukraine proposed, since the authority restrictions established by Part four, Article 9 of the current Law of Ukraine “On the Central Executive Bodies” for persons acting as Minister in case the office of the Minister is vacant stimulate the Prime Minister of Ukraine to submit candidates for ministerial positions in a timely manner, proposing to the parliament only those candidates that are likely to be endorsed by the MPs. The removal of those restrictions (which is what the President’s Proposals amount to) will enable the executive branch to propose for ministerial positions candidates that are not supported by the legislature; and if the parliament does not vote for them, such persons will be appointed without the parliament’s decision as “Acting Ministers” who will have all the powers of Minister appointed by the parliament. Thus, conditions will be created for actual disregard for the constitutional power of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to make appointments to positions of members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Moreover, the thesis expressed in the President’s proposals, that by approving the amendments proposed to Part four, Article 9 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Central Executive Bodies” “the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine actually removes itself from exercising its constitutional powers to appoint members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine based on a submission from the Prime Minister of Ukraine,” does not look convincing. Indeed, those amendments do not enable the parliament to avoid considering the ministerial candidates proposed to it. After the introduction of those changes, the parliament will still be obliged to consider the respective candidates and to vote on them. However, the Constitution of Ukraine does not oblige the parliament to appoint to a certain ministerial office whatever candidate is proposed to the parliament for consideration. The selection and submission to the parliament of a candidate that can be supported by the MPs is the duty not of the parliament but of the Prime Minister of Ukraine (in certain cases, of the Head of State), whose powers set out by the Constitution of Ukraine (paragraph 12, Part one, Article 85) include submission of such candidates to the parliament.

The Committee disagreed with considerations of the Main Scientific and Expert Department and proposed that all of the President’s proposals be supported.