Saturday, March 27, 2010

License to kill: EU delegates compromise rule of law for outcome

The European Parliament delegation, headed by Vice-Chair of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament Adrian Severin, has placed political stability over the constitutional rule of law. In a statement reported by ForUm Severin offered his support to the new Ukrainian Government and in doing so has indicated that  the means justifies the outcome.  

In what could be seen as a license for Ukraine's Constitutional Court to embrace the formation of the new government, Mr Severin stated on behalf of the European Delegation "We are pleased that you managed to create a coalition, which is now to address the urgent political and economic issues, and we hope that the Constitutional Court will adopt a decision that confirms the legality of the coalition."

"Clearly, early elections could as well be a constitutional solution, but we are more pleased to see stability in the country, rather than early elections

Adrian Severin's first and foremost responsibility is to to ensure that Ukraine's Constitution is upheld and that rule of law  prevails over political expediency at all times.  It is not satisfactory for a senior head of  the European Parliament to be giving signals that breaches of Ukraine's Constitutional law is acceptable under any circumstances.  

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council  of Europe had already compromised its position when it selectively turned a blind eye to the abuse of  office and breaches of Ukraine's Constitution by Victor Yushchenko in 2007 when he unconstitutionally dismissed  Ukraine's previous Parliament and illegally interfered with the independence of Ukraine's Constitutional Court.  Yushchenko's actions undermined confidence in Ukraine causing seven months of political and civil unrest.  

The failure of the European community to speak out against the events of 2007 also undermined the values of social democracy that Mr Sovereign's party rightly promotes.  

As much as it is pleasing that some form  of political stability has befallen Ukraine the basis of the formation of the new government under the circumstance where they contravene Ukraine's Constitution can not be supported under any circumstances.  To do so sets a very dangerous precedent that rule of law and a States constitution can be ignored if it is seen to be of political advantageous to various powers based in Ukraine or in Brussels.

If the Constitutional Court, as expected, rules against the formation of the new government then early Parliamentary elections must be held.  Victor Yanukovych has indicated that he would call elections. Article 90 of Ukraine's Constitution gives the President the right to dismiss Ukraine's parliament if it fails to form a government within 30 days and a cabinet within 60 days. The dismissal of the Parliament is not mandatory and Yanukovych could readily delay the process  and opt for a new election in October.  A long political campaign could work in Yanukovych's favour as it would allow the existing government to contrast the actions of the new compared to the old. Stability versus instability. It also allows the new government to remain in office and with it the advantage of incumbency in the lead-up to a fresh election.