On June 6, the Ukrainian Parliament approved by 279 votes the draft legislation “On ad hoc commissions of inquiry and ad hoc special commissions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine”. The draft specifies the procedure of the impeachment of the President.
Under the draft legislation a special ad hoc commission of inquiry is a collegiate body that consists of people’s deputies, a prosecutor special and three special investigators. The task of the special commission is to investigate the circumstances of a State treason or any other serious crime committed by the President. These circumstances are presented in a relevant document aimed to initiate the process of dismissing the President from his post. The document are signed and submitted by the lawmakers who represent Parliament’s constitutional majority.
The ad hoc commission of inquiry looks into the circumstances surrounding a State treason or any other criminal offence perpetrated by the President, checks the completeness and validity of the evidence; investigates other facts and circumstances which confirm and establish the presence of the signs of State treason or any other crime in actions of the President; if grounds for impeachment are available, the commission prepares proposals for drating a parliamentary resolution on bringing charges against the President.
The special commission of inquiry has the power to hear out the President and the defender of his rights; to request the State bodies, the self-government bodies, their officials, administrators of enterprises, institutions and organizations, public associations, the mass media and individuals to give all necessary documents, materials and other evidence pertinent to the investigation in question. In case of need, the commission can appoint experts and involve specialists to study and evaluate the evidence.
Within the term set by Parliament but not later than two months since the day it has been formed, the special ad hoc commission of inquiry has to submit to Parliament its conclusions and proposals regarding the investigation of the circumstances stated in the submission of the deputies calling for the impeachment of the President.
In accordance with the draft legislation, Parliament, by the constitutional majority of votes, passes a resolution on initiating the question of impeachment and includes this question in the session agenda as urgent. The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada informs immediately the head of the State on the approval of the resolution.
The term of the commission’s work should not exceed three months from its inception. If Parliament makes a decision that the President is quilty, then the commission continues its work over the entire period the impeachment issue is under debate.
To legaly complete the impeachment of the President, the Verkhovna Rada has to approve the legislation removing him from power.
As of today, Parliament has registered several bills on this topic. Volodymyr Zelensky submitted to Parliament his variant of the impeachment law early in June.