Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When is the beginning and when is the end?

KyivPost reports:

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has commenced the oral consideration of the President Viktor Yuschenko's appeal against the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada on scheduling the presidential elections for October 25.

The reporting judge is Ivan Dombrovskyi.

In compliance with the appeal, section 5 article 103 of the Constitution envisions that the presidential elections should be held last Sunday of the last month of the president's fifth year in office, which means that the elections should take place on January 17, 2010.

The last Sunday of the last month of the last year?

January 17 is not the last Sunday of the month of January or did they cut out a few days to try and shorten Ukraine's bitter cold winter?

The last thing Ukraine needs is a prolonged Presidential campaign and an election in the middle of Ukraine's winter.

The Constitution of Ukraine [Article 85(7)] allows for the parliament to determine when Presidential elections are held. The Ukrainian Parliament, supported by a absolute majority of its members, has called the next Presidential elections for October 25. 2009. The last Sunday of the month five years from the date of the previous election held in 2004.

Ukraine has a ridiculous two round Presidential voting system which means that Ukraine will go into the second round of voting in November/December. The two round Presidential ballot is expected to cost Ukraine over 350 Million dollars ($100 Million in direct costs per round and a further $150 Million in campaign costs) Money that would be better spent elsewhere. If Ukraine adopted a preferential, "One Round" voting system the costs would be halved and Ukraine would know the results of the election in days as opposed to months.

Viktor Yuschenko, instead of clinging on to office for the sake of three months by appealing to Constitutional Court, should offer his resignation so that Ukraine can elect its next head of state in warmer weather.

1 Comment:

UkrToday said...

This is one to watch.

On one hand it would be good for the Constitutional Court to start making rulings on the interpretation of the Constitution.

The CCU have still not ruled on Yuschenko's right to dismiss Ukraine's previous parliament in 2007.

Ivan Dombrovskyi,who was appointed by the Congress of professional Judges, played a pivotal role in the 2007 Constitutional Crisis when he was forced to resign, under pressure, as Chairman of the Constitutional Court

Whilst Yuschenko may have an argument in law the fact remains that an October election would serve Ukraine best.

It could be argued that the last Sunday of the last month of the president's fifth year in office could also mean December 27, 2009. With 2005 being the first year of office and 2009 being the fifth year.

If the CCU upholds Yushenko's plea to stay in office for an additional two to three months then this would mean that Ukraine's Presidential elections will slowly shift forward and be held in different months of the year each time.

A January election will also be broken up by the Ukrainian Orthodox Christmas which is held on January 7 (Something that will not go down with the clergy or the congregations) and the "Old" New Year on January 12 when moist Ukrainians are on a mid winter break.

Ukrainians should start praying that Yuschenko sees the light and agrees to offer his resignation to facilitate an early October poll.