Saturday, July 18, 2009

One week remaining as Ukraine begins to hold it's breath

Will he or won't he?

The Parliament has moved into Summer recession and it's next regular session is scheduled to commence on September 1.

Any attempt by Yushchenko to dismiss the Parliament and force another round of parliamentary elections ahead of the Presidential election scheduled for January 17, 2010 would be counter productive.

Yushchenko's supporters claim that there are grounds for dismissing the Parliament is highly disputable.

On July 24 Victor Yushchenko will be in his last six months of his five year term of office.

With the passing of this date Yushchenko will lose authority under Article 90 of Ukraine's constitution to dismiss Ukraine's parliament. If he is to have any chance of success in forcing another round of parliamentary elections he will have to act this week or risk being ruled out of order by Ukraine's Constitutional Court.


UkrToday said...

It needs to be mentioned that the exact day in which the Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine's embattled president, loses authority pursuant to Article 90 of Ukraine's Constitution is open to dispute.

Article 90 states. ... "The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall not be terminated during the last six months of the term of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or President of Ukraine."

The question is when does the term of authority of the President expire?

Oleksandr Lavrynovych, Ukraine's former Minister for Justice, argues July 17 (Six Months prior to the date of the scheduled Presidential election)

Volodymyr Lytvyn, Speaker of the Parliament believes July 25 (6 months prior to the expiration of
Yushchenko's five year term of office)

Forces close to Yushchenko have claimed that the President has until August 17 being basd on the date one month after the scheduled Election.

The Problem being that the President retains power until the next President is sworn into office. (Article 108) which generally takes place 30 days following the election.

Ukraine suffers from election creep. Yushchenko has clung on to power and extended his term of Office beyond the constitutional five years.

Yushchenko knows that he is in an unwinnable position and he is hanging out hoping he can gain some concessions in order to trade off for an early presidential election

Reports in the media indicates that Yushchenko has offered to resign in order to facilitate an earlier Presidential election but only on the condition that the Parliament also subject itself to a fresh round of parliamentary elections.

In 2007 a similar proposal was made for the President to also face renewal of his mandate along with Ukraine's forced Parliamentary election. Yushchenko rejected the proposal.

Early Presidential elections would be good for Ukraine, but there is no advantage, other then to Yushchenko. Parliamentary elections should be held following the presidential election and constitutional reform.

Given that Ukraine also has a two round Presidential election system the proposal of holding simultaneous Presidential and Parliamentary elections whilst possible becomes convoluted and messy.

Yushchenko, who has less then 4% support will not be elected to a second term of office. Under Ukraine's two-round presidential system the two highest polling candidate's face off in a second ballot to determine who wins. Yushchenko's nomination will limit the chances of Arseny Yatseniuk (Y-Front for change party) competing against Yulia Tymoshenko for second place and a chance to be in the final ballot.

It would be better of Yushchenko and others considered adopting a single-round preferential "Instant Runoff" voting system. (

A single round voting system would save Ukraine 100's of millions of dollars and the results of the elections would be known within days as opposed to weeks. A preferential system would allow Yushchenko and other minor candidates to play a positive role in the outcome of the election as opposed to a negative spoiler role under the two round voting system.

UkrToday said...

In considering the question as to the date that applies in deciding when Yushchenko loss authority to dismiss Ukraine's parliament I would agree with Lytvn's assessment six months prior to the fifth anniversary of the President's term of office.

The president's term of office commences when the President is sworn into to office and is set for five years.

Ukraine's Constitution states that the president is entitled to hold office for five years. Any time less or greater then the fifth year annerservary date is of a secondary relevance and can not be determined as applying to the determination of the six month limitation of the President's authority outlined in Article 90.

Any period beyond the firth year is of an administrative nature only pending the determination of elections which must hold prior to the conclusion of the President's term of office.

In theory the results of an election could be determined on the day following the first round of voting assuming there was a clear undisputed winner. The person elected could be sworn into office the same day as the declaration.

If the Constitutional Court was called on to rule which date would apply it would have no other option but to uphold July 24 date.