Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The quite before the storm

Ukraine contemplates its latest political crisis

Day one: following the declaration of Ukraine's President to dismiss Ukraine's democratically elected Parliament.

No signs of civil unrest or public protest.

Our Ukraine had a few information booths on the street but they were attracting very little interest from people passing bye. Most giving them a wide birth on their way past the booth.

In talking to people on the Street many are in disagreement with the actions of the President and they see it as a part of the ongoing power play by the President who most Ukrainians have already dismissed as a lame duck President.

In the meantime the Parliament has vowed to continue to govern and to appeal the Presidential decision in the Constitutional Court. Once an appeal has been lodged the Court will be asked to issue an injunction preventing the execution of the presidential decree pending consideration and determination of the court. This is a normal process under the rule of law.

Under Ukraine's constitution the Constitutional Court is the sole body responsible for the interpretation of Ukraine's constitution. Not the President

The current Parliament continues to hold office until the new Parliament is elected and sworn into office.

If the Constitutional Court rules against Ukraine's Presidential decree then Yushchenko remaining authority will evaporate overnight leaving the President with not other alternative but to resign.

If the Court upholds the Presidential decree then the parliamentary election will proceed. All indications are that the electorate will pass their judgement and the Parliamentary Elections with the President's Party 'Our Ukraine' expected to halve its representation in the new Parliament.

The cost of holding fresh elections is expected to be in the region of US$150 Million. Money that could be better spent else where.

The President faces a potential backlash for his actions in dismissing the parliament and as a result his authority will be again be weakened to the point where he will have to resign.

Either way the President's position and tenure is not looking positive.

Most Ukrainians want a period of stability and they see the current crisis as being one manufactured by a President seeking to hold on to power.

Article 81 ... The pre-term termination of the authority of a People’s Deputy of Ukraine shall also be caused by the early termination, under the Constitution of Ukraine, of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, with such termination of the Deputy’s authority taking effect on the date when the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of a new convocation opens its first meeting.