KIEV: The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday approved a bill granting more powers to the country’s top security body — the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), said the legislature’s press service.
The bill, which gives the NSDC the right to make decisions independently in emergencies without approval from the head of state or government, was passed with 253 votes in favor.
According to the new law, the NSDC, which previously supervised only the Defense Ministry and the armed forces, now acquires the right to partially control law enforcement, anti-corruption and executive agencies.
Besides, the NSDC secretary is entitled to declare martial law or a state of emergency in the country should a threat to national security arise.
Previously the Ukrainian president was the only person who had the right to impose a special security status in the country.
Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed former parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov as secretary of the NSDC after the sudden resignation of his predecessor Andriy Parubiy.
Ukrainian president sacks heads of 77 district administrations
Baku: Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has dismissed 77 heads of district administrations with no explanations available as of yet, APA reports quoting İTAR-TASS.
They were sacked in 18 regions of the country, including the Kiev, Lugansk, Lvov, Poltava, Rovno, Kharkov and Kherson regions.
The decrees were posted late on Tuesday on the president’s website.
Rada votes to expand powers of National Security and Defense Council
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, on Thursday approved a draft law that broadened the powers of the National Security and Defense Council, two days after MPs failed to pass similar legislation on the council.
The decision was supported by 253 MPs out of 372 registered in the session hall, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
A number of amendments to the bill were submitted before the voting. In particular, they concerned wording that was to bring the powers of the NSDC into line with the Constitution and other Ukrainian laws.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on December 23 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine failed to support a presidential bill “On Amendments to the Law “On the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine “on the improvement of coordination and control of the National Security and Defense.”
The corresponding bill was supported by 223 MPs out of 368 registered in the session hall, with 226 votes needed for the vote to pass. The representatives of the Samopomich party, the Radical party and the Opposition Bloc did not vote.