Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Yulia Tymoshenko Threatens to resign if Constitutional Court rules against Yushchenko

Kyiv April 18 - 125 Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and 80 Our Ukraine Party members of Ukraine's Parliament (Rada) have threatened to resign if the Constitutional Court rules against Viktor Yushchenko's Presidential decree dismissing the Parliament.

Yesterday the Constitutional Court agreed to consider the appeal lodged by the governing coalition claiming that the Presidents decree was unconstitutional. The Court voted 11 out of 18 to hear the appeal.

In what is seen by many as an attempt to intimidate the Court in the hope of influencing the Courts determination Yulia Tymoshenko claimed that the Constitutional Court was corrupt and that she would not respect the Courts decision following yesterday's ruling. This is in spite the fact that the Court is yet to rule on the Constitutionality of the President's decree.

Members of Parliament when appointed to the Parliament take an oath "I swear allegiance to Ukraine. I commit myself with all my deeds to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to provide for the good of the Motherland and for the welfare of the Ukrainian people. I swear to abide by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, to carry out my duties in the interests of all compatriots." - Article 79 Ukraine's Constitution

Yulia Tymoshenko's threats to resign are nothing more then that - threats. The Ukrainian Central Electoral Committee (CEC) has indicated that if members of Parliament resign the CEC will elect the next available persons on the registered electoral lists.

Article 82 (2nd paragraph) of Ukraine's Constitution states "The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is competent on the condition that no less than two-thirds of its constitutional composition has been elected."

The exact meaning and intention of this clause is not definitive and we could see yet again another issue referred to the Constitutional Court.

It seems that Yulia and Our Ukraine will continue to protest and destablise Ukraine until they secure their demands. - even if they do not win the next round of elections or support of Ukraine's Constitutional Court.

As events unfold the the crisis facing Ukraine gets worst as the opposition loses support. Yulia and Our Ukraine continue to undermine Ukraine's democratic institutions even when there is no justification for complaint.

In the absence of an agreed compromise the only way forward would be for the Council of Europe Venice Commission to independently consider the issue of legality and constitutionality of Ukraine's Presidential decree. Should the European Venice Commission and the Constitutional Court rule against the President then the President MUST resign.

Fresh elections should only be held following the adoption of changes to Ukraine's electoral laws. The establishment of 50 local electoral districts each district electing nine members of parliament on a 10% quota and the implementation of a preferential voting system would faciliate a driect mandate system as oppsoed to the party list 'imperatove mandate'system currently in place.

It would be appropriate and desirable for Ukraine to hold simultaneously fresh Presidential and Parliamentary elections - Similar proposals have been submitted by Ukraine's governing Coalition but hav not been agreed to by Ukraine's President who continues to divide Ukraine.