Ukraine's new President, Viktor Yanukovych, has sought to bypass Ukraine's constitution by passing legislation that seeks to side step Ukraine's Constitutional Imperative mandate provisions.
In what is seen as a test of will and integrity Yanukovych and his party wants to allow individual MP's, not factions, to decide the makeup of Ukraine's governing coalition thus allowing small groups of MP's to be poached and agree to a formation of a new coalition in order to avoid fresh parliamentary elections.
Article 83 of Ukraine's Constitution states:
According to election results and on the basis of a common ground achieved between various political positions, a coalition of parliamentary factions shall be formed in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to include a majority of People’s Deputies of Ukraine within the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine...
The proposed rule change is designed to allow renegade members of Our Ukraine -Peoples Self Defense bloc to breakaway from their faction to support the formation of a new coalition with Party of Regions and the possibility of Viktor Yushchenko being appointed Ukraine's next Prime Minister..
In 2007 Yushchenko dismissed the previous Parliament which was lead by Victor Yanukovych arguing at the time that the governing coalition was in contravention to Article 83. Now it appears that he has had a change of heart and is prepared to forsake Ukraine's Constitution.
Bloc Tymoshenko and other members of Our Ukraine-People's Self Defence bloc have rightly argued that the proposed legislation is unconstitutional and has vowed to challenge the law in Ukraine's Courts and appeal to the International community and the Venice Commission to help uphold Ukraine's Constitution. Something they did not do back in 2007 .
This will be Yanukovych's a test of will and process and the legitimacy of the new government.
Members of parliament in Ukraine are elected on the basis of a party/factional bloc lists and not as individuals. By seeking to allow individual MP's to decide who will form a government will leave the parliament in tatters and a state of anarchy with individuals members of parliament acting alone and contrary to the wishes of a majority of their own faction.
Any government appointed under these conditions will not havelegitimacy until Ukraine's Constitutional Court has ruled on the legalityof the proposed law. It is difficult to see under what circumstances the Constitutional Court can support the proposed new law which should only be enacted via a Constitutional amendment and not regulatory legislation.
This will also be another test for the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe and the Venice Commission who in 2007 remained silent as Ukraine's past President, Viktor Yushchenko, breached Ukraine's Constitution in dismissing the previous parliament in order to force fresh parliamentary elections. Elections which elected the current parliament. PACE also turned a blind eye to Viktor Yushchenko's illegal interference in the operation and independence of Ukraine's Constitutional Court. The Court never ruled on the question of legality of Yushchenko's actions.
Expediency is no excuse for actions that are unconstitutional. If Yanukovych can not form a new coalition in accordance with Ukraine's Constitutions then he should either seek to amend the Constitution or hold fresh elections. In 30 days time he will have the authority to act and seek a mandate for reform.