Crisis in parliament: What happened behind closed doors of the meeting between Zelensky and “servants of the people”

Experts say the Office of the President feels the lack of votes in parliament for important bills. Therefore, the guarantor decided to meet with the SN group and discuss urgent problems. Focus I learned what the president wanted to convey to the MPs.

On Tuesday, February 21, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky held a meeting with deputies of the Servant of the People group for the first time after the two-year great war. According to the head of the SN group, David Arakhamia, the main topics were the front, the economy, assistance from partners, ensuring unity in society and the duties of the parliament and deputies in these areas.

Arakhamia noted that the meeting was planned at the end of last year, but the president’s schedule only allowed it to be held now.

“This is nothing new; even before the full-scale invasion, we were holding such strategic sessions every year. This is normal practice for all major teams,” the politician added.

According to UP, at the meeting, MPs asked about strengthening mobilization. The President said that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Alexander Syrsky claimed to have identified thousands of military personnel who had not been in the war zone before. Now a major inspection is being prepared and these people will probably be sent to the front. Zelensky also allegedly talked about increasing the allowances for those fighting at zero level to 200 thousand UAH.

People’s deputies were also interested in the political future of the group. Parliamentarians asked about a possible threat to the president’s legitimacy. As you know, in May it will be five years since Zelensky was elected to office. The guarantor stated that he had information that the Russians were preparing information campaigns and called for no reaction to these provocations. He also emphasized that Western partners support the impossibility of holding elections during war.

single majority crisis

According to various estimates of MPs expressed in informal conversations with journalists, there were few details of the meeting with the president. However, the reality of the incident cheered the politicians up a bit; because, according to experts, some think that the parliament has finally lost its independence since the beginning of the full-scale occupation and has ceased to be a suitable platform for public relations for individual MPs. .

According to this political scientist Oleg PosternakThe SN faction has long exhibited tendencies dangerous to unity; Some MPs have left the faction or announced that they will leave. Some “servants” are turning to non-factional parliamentary groups, while remaining part of the single majority.

“There are rumors that there is already a secret group in the Verkhovna Rada that supports the former commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny,” he says Focus Posternak.

Therefore, it was important for the president to meet with “his” MPs in terms of consolidating the unity. Moreover, the long-awaited meeting was not organized in the context of discussions on the legitimacy of the guarantor and the parliament. The end of the presidential term is approaching. According to political scientists, in the Russian Federation they will probably begin to raise this issue, and therefore the authorities need to deal with this challenge in a single and integrated way.

According to this political scientist Igor Reiterovich, Sooner or later, the SN group will have to officially accept that there is no single majority left and reshape the coalition.

“There are currently 235 deputies in the SN faction. If they leave before that, there will be no coalition. The question is: will you stay in the coalition if you are not a member of the faction? As you know, Zelensky criticized the previous Rada, which he dissolved, for such a practice,” Reiterovich argues.

According to experts, the President’s Office feels a lack of votes for important bills. It is enough to recall the first bill on strengthening mobilization, which passed unsuccessfully in the Verkhovna Rada at the end of 2023. Therefore, in meetings with SN’s deputies, the president expressed his hope that the parliament would support the government bill in the second reading.

According to Posternak, although there is currently no danger of the collapse of the coalition, the problem is exacerbated by the dependence of the parliament on the office of the President and the reduced interest of MPs in parliamentary activities.

“We are facing a long parliament, some MPs want to be relieved of the burden of submitting declarations, to be relieved of unnecessary obligations related to political activities and to deal with other issues during the ongoing war. Therefore, I would say that the parliament has entered into an existential crisis. But even if the coalition ends, the president wants to leave the Rada will not abolish it,” says the political scientist.

An important issue that could be discussed at the meeting but was decided not to be disclosed to the public: personnel rotation in the state. Reiterovich notes that lately there has been increased talk among experts about the imminent reformation of the Council of Ministers. According to Posternak, to replace the current Prime Minister Denis Shmygal, they propose: OP Deputy Chairman Rostislav Shurma, Minister of Digital Transformation Mikhail Fedorov, Ukrainian Ambassador to the USA Oksana Markarova, Deputy Prime Minister for Reconstruction of Ukraine Alexander Kubrakov. There are other names too.

“Many positions are appointed by the parliament, so it was necessary to discuss this issue with the MPs. I think the president wanted to instruct the parliament to support any candidacy of the OP in the future,” Posternak notes.

Strengthening mobilization

One of the important issues discussed at the meeting of the “servants” with the president was the strengthening of mobilization. The media wrote that, according to the president, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Alexander Syrsky was preparing for a massive inspection, since there are “thousands of military personnel” who have never been to the front. Plans were also announced to double military salaries to “zero”. People’s Deputy Yuri Mysyagin explained that we are talking about military personnel who have been on front-line duty for two years.

All this, according to experts, was said in the context of the president’s expectations that the parliament would support the bill on strengthening mobilization in the second reading.

“From Zelensky’s statement that half a million people should be mobilized, there was talk about the army on the front line to reduce the fever, but there is no money for this. I think the point is this: the people’s deputies must pass the law.” Although the law is vague, but at the same time there is no need to worry that the increase in conscription will begin immediately after the entry into force of the document, “1000 soldiers” were found that could be sent to the front. And the bill itself is supposedly a preparation for the future. The president made a statement to the MPs and now they will use it,” says the political scientist.

As you know, parliamentarians had many questions about the high-profile document that the Verkhovna Rada adopted at the first reading in early February. People’s deputies submitted more than 1,300 amendments, which will be considered by the relevant committee.

Previously Focus We’ve collected the top 5 most resonant suggestions from politicians for action.

Moreover Focus It revealed whether Ukraine could limit the right to education of children escaping military service.

Source: Focus

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