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Ukrainian Leader Bemoans Poorly Functioning Parliament

Mykola Tomenko with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (file photo)
KYIV -- Ukraine's deputy parliament speaker has accused the country's legislature of being "extremely unproductive" and turning the parliament into a political discussion club, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Mykola Tomenko, a member of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc headed by the prime minister, said that in the last month the unicameral parliament has reviewed 14 draft laws but was capable of passing just one.

He said lawmakers regularly skip parliamentary sessions, adding that nine Regions Party deputies came to parliament fewer than 60 times during the year.

Tomenko, 44, said that only 18 members of parliament attended all the legislative sessions.

The current parliamentary session -- which began on February 3 -- was scheduled to break for summer recess on July 10.

But because the Regions Party has continuously blocked the podium, no one has been able officially to bring a close to the session.