On Second Try, Plast Scouting Organization seems set for official recognition from Ukrainian State

With 316 votes on December 17, Ukraine’s Parliament backed a law on the state recognition of Plast – National Scout Organization of Ukraine. This is the second affirmative vote on the legislation. On May 30, 2019, members of the previous convocation of the Verkhovna Rada had voted in favor of the earlier edition of this bill. But then, after more than three months, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected the law and returned it to the Verkhovna Rada with his remarks.

Now, after the Verkhovna Rada’s Youth Committee backed the second edition with Mr. Zelenskyy’s remarks and the Rada voted to approve the law, it is up to the president to sign and enact the law on state support of Plast. . . .

The 316 votes cast in favor of the Plast law are far beyond the minimum 226 needed for a bill to pass. The Parliament’s major faction, Servant of the People, gave 215 votes for the legislation with only one against. Five other factions, European Solidarity, Batkivshchyna, For Future, Voice and Trust, voted for approval, while the pro-Russian Opposition Platform voted against. One of the Opposition Platform’s national deputies, Yuriy Pavlenko, ex-Minister of Youth and Sport, voted in favor of the new law on recognition of Plast. . . .

“As a result of the revision, this law has even changed its name. It is now called: ‘On the recognition of the Plast movement and the principles of state support for Plast, scout movement.” Just as in the title, there were changes throughout the text of the bill,” explained Yurko Yuzych, head of Ukraine’s Plast Board.

“The law now does not mention ‘the Plast organization,’ or any other organization. Instead, the new definition, ‘Plast movement (Plast),’ which is a Ukrainian scout movement, was introduced. And next to it is the definition of ‘Scout Movement (Scouting).’ Instead of the wording ‘Ukrainian Plast (scout) movement’ proposed by the president, there appeared to be some confusion throughout the text – at first glance, the expression: ‘Plast, scout movement’ (using commas, not the word ‘and’). The president’s proposal was quite satisfying to Plast because it was the wording of dozens of independent Plast organizations operating around the world – from Sydney to Edmonton, and from Avdiyivka to Berehove,” Mr. Yuzych noted.

The official reason for the law’s rejection four months ago was that the legislative preference for an NGO (in this case, Plast – National Scout Organization of Ukraine) would violate the Constitution of Ukraine. Therefore, changing the wording to “Plast movement (Plast)” would make it constitutionally acceptable.