Friday, October 01, 2010

Back to the past - The tale of the two Viktors

Ukraine has just taken a backward step.  A step away from democratic rule of law  and a return of presidential autocracy.  A step that Viktor Yushchenko advocated and by his actions preordained

Today the Constitutional Court of Ukraine ruled invalid the amendments to Ukraine's Constitution  that were agreed to as part of a peace deal in settlement of the "Orange Revolution" stand off in December 2004.

The amendments agreed to in haste followed years of negotiation and efforts for Ukraine to make the transition away from a Soviet Presidential system and towards a European style democratic Parliamentary system .

Ukraine previous President Viktor Yushchenko has consistently undermined the stability and success of Ukraine's Parliamentary system.  A system that saw Yanukovych elected Prime-minister in 2006 following Yushchenko failure to support the formation of a orange governing coalition.

Yanukovych was at the time a supporter of the Constitutional provision that was until Yushchenko acted unconstitutionally to dismiss the previous parliament going as far as interfering with the composition and independence of Ukraine's constitutional Court to prevent the Court from ruling against his decree.

Yushchenko's actions caused seven months of political and civil unrest and the process destroying any hope for respect in the democratic process.  Yushchenko had sold out Ukraine and in the process has set in train the events that are now unfolding.

Yanukovych having been elected President  in January with a winning margin of just 3 percent has quickly gone about securing power and control over every aspect of Ukraine's Government.

In all fairness Yanukovych had the right to remain Prime Minister but Yushchenko removed that right and with it and chance for long term democratic development.

Yanukovych and his party should have taken steps to amend the Constitution not destroy it.
The reforms adopted in 2004 were a step in the right direction. Throwing them out is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Yanukovych and his party should have taken steps to amend the Constitution not destroy it.

Yanukovych has now shot himself in the foot, He no longer has the right to claim he was elected under the authority of Ukraine's Constitution. The people of Ukraine voted for him on the understanding that the President had limited power. Now that he has assumed more power then the people of Ukraine bestowed on him it make him an illegitimate president.

Democracy no longer exists in Ukraine.  Destroyed by the two Victors.  Yushchenko and Yanukovych.  


Anonymous said...

In decent countries the Consitution should only be ammended by referendum or by a large constitutional majority in an elected parliament, as occurred in 2004.

Today this has not happened. After six years, power has instantly been drained away from executive and legislature bodies by chicanery and is now concentrated in the hands of the president and a small number of cronies. It is a recipe for disaster..

UkrToday said...

That's a Myth.

Ukraine has it right in that the constitution can only be amended with the support of their thirds constitutional majority of its Parliament. This is a common provision that exist in most modern democracies.

In Ukraine's case a referendum is required to approve amendments to Chapter I — "General Principles," Chapter III — "Elections. Referendum," and Chapter XIII — "Introducing Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine,". In all cases it also needs the support of 300 members of parliament. This is a reasonable and workable provision.

A constitution is a living document it is not set in stone

If you required a referendum each time to amend a constitution you would be in the same situation as the United States and Australia where their constitution can not be changed. A two thirds Parliamentary majority is not easy to achieve.

You will also find that there are many European states that have similar provisions to that of Ukraine's (Chapter VIII). Take a Look at Estonia Latvia or Finland;s constitution that have similar provisions as do many other modern democratic states.

As to the question of Presidential authority. The head of state should never had power over the majority of the people's democratically elected parliamentary representatives. A presidential system is not democracy it is an autocracy.