The Verkhovna Rada has extended for one year, until December 31, 2022 inclusive, the law on a special procedure for local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
A total of 314 and 317 deputies, respectively, voted for draft law No. 6342 amending article 1 of the law on special procedure for local self-government in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in first reading and final reading.
“We have to take this decision so that the negotiation process, which is taking place within the trilateral contact group […] at the level of the Norman format, continue, ”said the head of the parliamentary committee on legal policy Andriy Kostin (faction Servant of the people) during the discussion of the bill.
He noted that this law is the basis of the negotiation process to achieve peace in the Donbass, “so that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored”.
As noted, the Law on a special procedure for local self-government in the ORDLO was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in September 2014 and entered into force on October 18, 2014 for a period of three years. The document provides that a special procedure of local self-government in certain districts of Donbass comes into force only “after all the conditions set out in Article 10 of the law are fulfilled, in particular with regard to the withdrawal of all illegal armed groups, their military equipment, as well as militants and mercenaries from Ukrainian territory”.
In particular, Article 10 of this law (transitional provisions) establishes that a special procedure for local self-government is implemented exclusively by local self-government bodies, which will be elected in early elections.
This article also set out the conditions without which the elections to the ORDLO are impossible, among the conditions – the withdrawal of illegal armed formations and military equipment from Ukraine, guarantees of free expression of will, observation of the elections, including by representatives of international organisations, the prevention of unlawful interference in the electoral process, respect for the principles of political pluralism and freedom of agitation.
Subsequently, the Verkhovna Rada repeatedly extended the term of this law by one year. Thus, on October 4, 2018, the Ukrainian parliament supported the presidential legislative initiative, whereby a special procedure for local self-government in the ORDLO will be introduced from the date of entry into force of the relevant law until as of December 31, 2019.
On December 15, 2020, the Ukrainian parliament extended the law on the special procedure for local self-government in the ORDLO until the end of 2021.