Friday, August 21, 2009

Parliament vetoes President

Yushchenko set to lose his deposit

Ukraine's parliament has overruled President Viktor Yushchenko's veto on the Law of the presidential election. The legislation was supported by 325 out of 371 MPs registered in the session. Under Ukraine's Constitution the parliament can override the President's right of veto with the support of 2/3rd majority of the 450 member Parliament.

Yushchenko has indicated that he would appeal to Ukraine's Constitutional Court but failed to outline on what grounds the appeal would be based. (His past success rate in appeals to the courts has not been high)

Earlier Yushchenko had objected to the proposed reduction in the official campaign period from 120 days to 90 days, even though Ukraine's Constitution provides for a 90 day election period for early Presidential elections.

The other point of contention is the deposit that is required to be paid by would be Presidential candidates. Under the new law the deposit is only refunded to those candidates that progress to the second round of voting. Ukraine has a two round presidential election system, if no candidate has an absolute majority of votes then the two highest polling candidates face off in a second ballot. (A total waste of time, money and resources given that if Ukraine adopted a preferential voting system they would achive the same result by holding one round of voting)

Current opinion polls show a second round ballot between Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko is most likely with Viktor Yuschenko polling less then 4% support. Yushchenko is set not only to lose the first round but also his deposit (500,000 UAH)