The Verkhovna Rada has prolonged for a year until December 31, 2022, inclusive, the law on a special procedure for local self-government in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
A total of 314 and 317 MPs, respectively, voted for the relevant bill No. 6342 On Amendments to Article 1 of the Law On the Special Procedure for Local Self-Government in Certain Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions at the first reading and at the final reading.
"We must make this decision so that the negotiation process, which is taking place in the Trilateral Contact Group [...] at the level of the Normandy format, continues," head of the parliamentary committee on legal policy Andriy Kostin (Servant of the People faction) said during the discussion of the bill.
He noted that this law is the basis for the negotiation process to achieve peace in Donbas, "so that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored."
As reported, the Law on a special procedure for local self-government in 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 for local self-government in certain districts of Donbas comes into force only "after all the conditions set forth 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 the territory of Ukraine ".
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 spelled out the conditions, without which the elections in 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 elections, including by representatives of international organizations, prevention of illegal interference in the electoral process, observance of the principles of political pluralism and freedom of agitation.
Subsequently, the Verkhovna Rada has repeatedly extended the term of this law by a year. So, on October 4, 2018, the Ukrainian parliament supported the presidential legislative initiative, by which a special procedure for local self-government in ORDLO will be introduced from the date the relevant law enters into force until December 31, 2019.
On December 15, 2020, the Ukrainian parliament extended the law On the Special Procedure for Local Self-Government in ORDLO until the end of 2021.