Mon, 09 Dec 2019

KYIV -- Ukraine's parliament has adopted a bill spelling out procedures for a presidential impeachment.

The law was backed by 245 lawmakers at a second reading on September 10, immediately after the text was passed a first time.

Under the new legislation, parliament first initiates impeachment proceedings, which must be approved by the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, and then passed by three-quarters of lawmakers.

Ruslan Stefanchuk, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's representative to parliament, said the vote showed the president was committed to keeping his election pledge to clean up Ukrainian politics and tackle corruption.

However, opponents said the law was rushed through without proper consultation and that the text itself was so convoluted as to be meaningless.

'In fact, it is only a facade of reform that does not change anything,' said Roman Lozinskiy of the Holos (Voice) party.

Zelenskiy, a 41-year-old comedian-turned-politician who has pledged to 'break the system' in Ukrainian politics, was elected in April.

His Servant of the People party then took a solid majority of 254 parliamentary seats in the 450-seat legislature following snap general elections in July.

Last week, lawmakers voted to strip members of the chamber of immunity from prosecution.

With reporting by AP and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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