While there were violent protests outside Ukraine’s parliament, inside the chamber the atmosphere was equally tense.
Mustafa Nayem from the Poroshenko bloc voted against the bill and his party’s wishes:
“Why do some regions in Donetsk and Luhansk have the right to have this special rule of self-governance , but people in Kyiv, in Lviv or in Sumy don’t have it? Why? Is it just because of the war? If that is so, then that’s not the rule of Hollande and Merkel, we know who dictates these rules.”
Anna Gopko is one of five deputes from the Samopomych Party suspended for voting in favour of the bill:
“The war in the East of Ukraine must push us to mobilise all the resources, to reform the country and also to fulfil all the obligations that Ukraine must fulfil. The temporary occupied territories have now a different status then the rest, more than the 90 percent of the national territory. This is why we put this article in with the constitutional changes. “
The next steps
The bill will need a bigger majority to pass its second reading.
The feeling is that this will be after the next scheduled elections on October 26th.
The aim is to prevent the divisive legislation from becoming a campaigning issue.