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Rada adopts law on special status of local government in certain districts of Donbass

September 16, 2014, 13:42 UTC+3

The Verkhovna Rada has also passed a law against persecution participants in the armed conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions

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KIEV, September 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s parliament (Verkhovna Rada) has adopted law on special status of local government in certain districts of Donbass, leader of the Svoboda (Freedom) parliament faction Oleh Tyahnibok said on Tuesday.

A total of 277 out of 450 Ukrainian lawmakers voted in favor of the legislation, proposed by the president. The text of the document was published on the Ukrainian parliament’s website on Tuesday.

The bill is part of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s peace plan for the resolution of the ongoing conflict in south-eastern Ukraine, where on September 5 a ceasefire regime was introduced.

Under the legislation, the citizens of the eastern Ukrainian regions will have the right to use the Russian language freely. The local government bodies are ordered to encourage the use of the Russian language in the sphere of education, mass media, as well as the activity of the government bodies, courts and during cultural events.

The law also envisages the establishment of people’s police in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The police forces, to be created on a voluntary basis upon the decision of councils in cities and villages, are aimed at ensuring public order.

The legislation also proposes holding local elections on December 7 in some areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to establish new councils in districts, cities and villages.

The law foresees the restoration of industrial, transport and other facilities in the war-ravaged region, creating employment opportunities and attracting investment

The special status for the Donbass region is designed for three years, Poroshenko said.

Amnesty for participants in armed conflict

The Verkhovna Rada has also passed a law against persecution participants in the armed conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The law was supported by 287 lawmakers out of total of 450 in Ukraine’s Verkovna Rada.

However, speaking earlier about the bill on the amnesty for participants of hostilities in Ukraine’s embattled eastern regions, Poroshenko said it would not be in force for certain types of crimes.

Those who committed crimes under Criminal Code articles stipulating premeditated murder, terrorism, attempts to assassinate a state official, a law enforcement officer, a judge, rape, looting, vandalism and some other articles designed to ensure state integrity, would not be subjected to amnesty, Poroshenko said.

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