On July 24, Ukranian Rada speaker Turchynov used new powers to dissolve the Communist Party parliamentary faction. On the same day a court case started in Kiev, presented by the Minister of Justice, asking for a ban on the Communist Party as a whole.
On July 22, the Rada had voted a new law to change the regulations of the Parliament with the stated aim of dissolving the Communist faction, which had been reduced in its members as a result of the defection of some of its members. Late on the same day, president Poroshenko signed the bill which was published and came into effect on July 24. As soon as this was the case, Turchynov used the new regulations to ban the Communist faction.
“Today is a historic day. I hope there will never be a Communist faction in the Ukrainian parliament” – said the speaker.
The Communist Party received over 13% of the vote (2.6 million) at the last parliamentary election in 2012. In the all of the South and Eastern regions the party vote was over 18% with peaks of 25% in Luhansk and 29% in Sevastopol.
On July 23, members of the far right Svoboda party attempted to drag Communist Party leader Simonenko out of Parliament and in the process beat him up.
This latest move is part of a general assault on democratic rights by the Kiev authorities, particularly aimed at anyone who is on opposition to the “anti terrorist operation” against the Donbas.
There were also scuffles during the opening of the proceedings of the hearing to ban the Communist Party in Kiev. Far right Radical Party MP Oleg Lyashko had presented himself as part of the prosecution and jumped over a table to assault Communist Party supporters.
Recently an alliance has emerged between Lyashko and the neo-nazi Social Nationalist Assembly, with members of the SNA being elected to the Kyiv city council on the list of Lyashko’s Radical Party.
The Communist Party has also reported on the killing of one of its local party secretaries in Donetsk.