Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Constitutional Court: Problems of Amending the Constitution of Ukraine

by Vasyl Panfilov, for UP

Source: Original article in Ukrainian by Vasyl Panfilov, UCIPR analyst (www.ucipr.kiev.ua), for UP

Another intrigue surrounding the future of the political reform concerns the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. Specifically, the Kommersant-Ukraina published information that on February 15, 2006, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine voted on the law "On Amending the Law of Ukraine "On the Constitutional Court" prohibiting the Constitutional Court from reconsidering the political reform provisions."The draft decision on reversal of the law was supported just by six judges out of the required minimum of ten votes. Despite the fact that voting did not produce a final result, it is safe to conclude that the Constitutional Court will not allow reconsideration of the constitutional reform," the newspaper wrote. Nevertheless, the next day, at his first press conference as Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Ivan Dombrovsky denied information of voting on abolition of prohibition on the political reform’s reconsideration.

Hasten Slowly…

Presently, the Constitutional Court actually takes the lead by the number of references in different political statements, reports and speeches. It is appealed on the occasion of possible dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada or recognition of 10% of presidential decrees unconstitutional or the law on the Cabinet of Ministers and its compliance of its actions with the established procedures etc.

Needless to say, the Constitutional Court is the only governmental agency that can and has to dot the "i’s" and cross the "t’s" deciding the future of Ukraine’s political system in the context of the constitutional reform, ensuring balanced actions of government departments and explaining documents that regulate powers and relations within the Verkhovna Rada – the government – the President triangle. It is difficult to forecast both the price for the answer to these questions and consequences, which will depend on the decisions of the Constitutional Court and the decision-making period. Most likely, the revolution will not occur in the near future, while cases will be considered for long. The above conclusion is based on recent activities of the Constitutional Court.

It has to be stated that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine has not been working properly for nearly two years. The Verkhovna Rada of the 4th convocation could not (and, probably, didn’t want to) hold by-elections of the Constitutional Court judges by its quota and swear them in. The major sticking point in this issue was the political reform or rather the opportunity it gave to interpret its provisions that came into effect from January 1, 2006. After the parliamentary elections, MPs also were not in a hurry to decide on by-elections and adjuration of the Constitutional Court judges. Legal motivations were limited to the absence of the Head of the Verkhovna Rada, who could sign the parliamentary decision on adjuration of constitutional judges. The situation was paradoxical also because in summer 2006, the number the constitutional judges appointed by the Congress of Judges of Ukraine was enough to secure a quorum in the Constitutional Court or the beginning of its proper work.

Vice Speaker A. Martynyuk once commented on the first decisions of the Constitutional Court as saying, "The presidential entourage spares no effort to make the December 8, 2004 voting (when 402 votes were for amending the Constitution) the first case to be considered by the Constitutional Court." Yet, it was the Verkhovna Rada or rather the anti-crisis coalition that invented a method to pass a respective judgment not in the first turn.

On August 4, 2006 – simultaneously with adjuration of the constitutional judges – the Ukrainian parliament made changes to the law "On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine", under which issues of constitutionality of the enacted laws on constitutional amendments are beyond the competence of the Constitutional Court. Specifically, the August 4, 2006 law No. 79–V deprived the Constitutional Court of jurisdiction to revise changes to the Basic Law made in December 2004. Subparagraph 1, Paragraph 3, Section IV of the law "On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine" reads, "The Constitutional Court makes decisions and provides conclusions on cases regarding constitutional compliance of laws, save laws on amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine in force, and other legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea passed after the Constitution of Ukraine came into effect." In the same August 2006, the Verkhovna Rada should have raised the issue of whether such the decision runs counter to the letter and the spirit of the Fundamental Law, especially, its Article 126 that guarantees the independence and immunity of judges and prohibits from influencing them in any manner. So, don’t the August changes in the law on the Constitutional Court mean the same "prohibited influence" that actually deprives the Constitutional Court of the right to interpret the Constitution? However, answering the question about the pressure of the above law, Mr. Dombrovsky said, "I will never refer to adoption of the law by the Verkhovna Rada as pressure… I do not perceive the very fact of enactment as pressure" (the UNIAN, February 16, 2006)...

Yet, the Constitutional Court seemingly has found itself in a rather delicate situation. In view of the ongoing "cold war" between the government and the President, constitutional judges have chosen a respective tactics: to hasten slowly… Of course, they had every reason to act that way. According to official information available on the site of the Constitutional Court, there are 49 constitutional petitions in the Court, of which 23 are pending as of February 12, 2007. 6 out of the 9 constitutional submissions by the President of Ukraine are under consideration by the Collegium of Judges and 1 – by the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court. 4 constitutional petitions are filed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Some Things about Terms…

As the media reported, on September 19, 2006, MP Mykhailo Pozhyvanov of Our Ukraine faction registered a constitutional claim by 47 MPs against unconstitutionality of the anti-crisis coalition’s brain-child – the law that actually prohibited the Constitutional Court considering legitimacy of the December 2004 changes. Interpretation of amendments to the law on the Constitutional Court as unconstitutional offered, at least, a theoretical possibility of raising the issue of constitutionality of the political reform. Nevertheless, the situation stood still for six months.

Under Article 57 of the above law, proceedings on constitutional claims shall not exceed three months. In case of constitutional claims recognized urgent by the Constitutional Court, the duration of proceedings shall not exceed one month. In its turn, the duration of proceedings on constitutional petitions shall not exceed six months. Though, these strict provisions have a minor but very important nuance: time of constitutional proceedings shall be kept from the date, on which the procedural decision to open constitutional proceedings in the case is made...

According to information on the site of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, on the consent of the Collegium of Judges, constitutional proceedings in case of constitutionality of the August 4, 2006 law No. 79–V "On Amending Section IV "Final and Transitional Provisions" of the Law of Ukraine "On the Constitutional Court" were initiated on January 18, 2007. So, the Constitutional Court has, at least, another two months to pass its verdict. Should these changes be found constitutionally compliant, it would be vain to hope for proceedings on legitimacy or illegitimacy of the political reform.

Even today it is obvious, this, in the opinion of Ivan Dombrovsky, will not create a legal precedent for the Constitutional Court’s interference with changes to be made in the Constitution of Ukraine. And the Verkhovna Rada may decide to abolish presidency or, say, grant Russian the status of the second national language through making relevant amendments to the Basic Law...

Chairman of the Constitutional Court Ivan Dombrovsky believes that revision of the law on the Constitutional Court and/or drafting of a new act with regard to the new Constitution may be a solution. However this would again take time and raise paradoxical or tricky questions, e.g. to what extent is the law on the Constitutional Court constitutional, if it is drafted on the basis of the Constitution, changes to which it may recognize unconstitutional?

Yet, the longer legal casuistry lasts, the deeper Ukraine’s political crisis will be and the more work the Constitutional Court will have

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Yushchenko seeks to deceive English speaking community

Corresspondence received by a number of sources has confirmed that the English translation version of Ukraine's constitution as published on the Ukrainain President's Official Web site is outdated and false.

The version published by the Venice Commission (copy here) is the updated version as provided by Ukraine's Justice Ministry.

A number of commentators and reports in the western media has incorrectly stated that the President has the power to appoint the Prime-minster, the Foreign Affairs Minister and the Defence Minister.

Article 85 of Ukraine's constitution states

The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine comprises:

(12) appointing to office - upon the submission by the President of Ukraine - the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; appointing to office - upon the submission by the Prime Minister of Ukraine - other members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Chairperson of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, the Head of the State Committee on Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine, and the Head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine; dismissing from office the officials mentioned above; deciding on the resignation of the Prime Minister of Ukraine and of members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;

It would appear that there is deliberate campaign of misinformation in relation to the power and authority of the President to give the wrong impression that the Parliament and the Government are acting unconstitutional. In all the reports published not one has confirmed the context in which the claims have been made or sought to confirm that the claims are in facts correct. Clearly they are not

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

US acts unilaterally in discussion to deploy US missile base in Poland ignoring the views of NATO 's European member states

US deploys its unipolar defence policy showing contempt of other European Countries and members of NATO

The Day has published a very interesting and tell tail interview with US Ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor. (Copy published below)

In what the US claims to be a military installation that is designed to protect both Europe and the US you would think that the US would have consulted and sought the approval of the EU member stats and as a minimum the membership of NATO.

It seams that the US has decided to pursue its own agenda and snub the opinion of NATO and the European Union.

When asked if the United States was talking to the European Union and other member states the US ambassador replied "

I have not heard of conversations with the European Union, primarily because this is not within the competence of the European Union. This question is clearly within the competence of individual member states.

When asked about consensus with the members states who are part of NATO and if NATO consensus is be needed to reach a final decision on this particular? Taylor commented "

I don`t think so. This has not been a decision for NATO. It does affect conversations on security issues with two NATO members. But it does not require decisions by NATO as a whole.

If the proposed military installations are to protect European countries from a threat in the middle east then why is the military based not managed by European countries themselves?

It seams on the surface of it that the United States is prepared to impose its preferred defence system on Europe and if need be intends to ignore the need for consensus and agreements with its allies, the very people that it claims it is acting to defend.

There is growing concern about US activities and many believe that the proposed missile base in Poland and the US radar installation in the Czech Republic will pose a threat to the EU. The fact that the United States is prepared to "go it alone" and is seeking to negotiate directly with individual states will most certainly create some tension in the already fragile alliance. Opposition to NATO is on the increase and the proposed Missile installation might just be the catalyst for a rethink on the alliance itself.

There are many who believe that the NATO alliance needs reform, that Europe should create a truly independent European alliance and that involvement with the US be by association on common interests as opposed to membership.

The US having already snubbed the United Nations and dragged Europe into a war again non-existent WMD in Iraq is now treating with contempt its alliance with Europe, creating growing tension and discord between Poland, the Czech Republic and other EU members states.

Recent polls in Poland and the Czech Republic indicate that over 50% of Polish and Czech citizens are opposed to the US military installations.








William Taylor: "If elements of anti-ballistic missile are deployed, the US and Europe will be more secure"
[16.02.2007 19:48] By Mykola Siruk, The Day


The possible deployment of elements of an anti-ballistic missile defence system on the territory of the Czech Republic and Poland is being widely discussed in the political circles of Europe, Russia, and even Ukraine.

The US says that the deployment of anti-ballistic missile defence elements in Europe by 2011 is aimed at protecting American and NATO installations from enemy threats coming from the Middle East, not Russia.

This was announced on Jan. 29 by US Army Brigadier General Patrick J. O`Reilly, Deputy Director of the Pentagon`s Missile Defence Agency.

The general also announced that the US is already negotiating with Russia about American plans in the National Missile Defence (NMD) sphere and inviting the Russians to take part in its implementation. He says that Russian participation in this process will strengthen Russia`s defence potential.

However, the Russian side views this as a threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the statement by supporters of the deployment of an anti-ballistic missile defence system in Eastern Europe to warn against threats coming from Iran ungrounded and expressed confidence that Russia`s reply will be asymmetrical and effective.

Some politicians in Ukraine also think that the deployment of anti-missile defence systems in the Czech Republic and Poland will be a threat to Russia.

After his meeting with US Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, Ukraine`s Minister of Defence Anatolii Hrytsenko expressed the opinion that the US has lost the information campaign on the possible deployment of their NMD elements on the territory of the Czech Republic and Poland. Hrytsenko said that Europe`s reaction to the deployment will depend on the purpose of these systems.

The Day asked Ambassador Taylor to explain the purpose of the US deployment of NMD elements in Europe.

[The Day] From the reports in the mass media it looks as if nobody understands why the US needs to deploy elements of the National Missile Defence: a radar in Czech Republic and anti-ballistic missiles in Poland. Can you explain to our readers what the purpose of this deployment is – to defend what from whom?

[Amb. Taylor] I`m very glad to give you the best explanations I can. We think there is a very clear answer to that question. We are interested in talking to the Poles and the Czechs in order to improve the security of Europe and the United States.

We think we improve the security of Europe and the United States by placing these systems or at least negotiating to place these systems in Poland and the Czech Republic to resist the emerging ballistic missile threats from the Middle East.

These systems, if these countries agree, will not protect Europe or the United States against missiles fired from Russia. The decision on where to place the anti-ballistic missile systems is made on the basis of geography and geometry. Experts and analysts in our Defence Department have spent a lot of time doing that geometry.

And as an expert, you can probably understand better than I. But as I understand it, that analysis shows that Poland and the Czech Republic are newly optimal locations if we are defending against missiles coming out of pariah- states in the Middle East.

[The Day] You mentioned Poland and the Czech Republic, but I have heard there was an inquiry from two MPs, who are asking whether the US is also talking to the European Union, because those two countries are members of the EU.

[Amb. Taylor] We are certainly keeping our NATO allies informed. By the way, we are trying to keep our Russian friends informed. I have had many conversations with Ukrainian officials about this.

I have not heard of conversations with the European Union, primarily because this is not within the competence of the European Union. This question is clearly within the competence of individual member states.

[The Day] But NATO is one bloc, while the European security system is another, and they do not always overlap. Is the US taking this fact taken into account?

[Amb. Taylor ] In this sense you are right that NATO members are not exactly the same as European Union members. Yes, EU members that are not members of NATO, we don`t have the same level of military defence and n ational security dialogue as we do with NATO allies.

[The Day] Is there consensus in NATO? Will NATO consensus be needed to reach a final decision on this particular matter?

[Amb. Taylor] I don`t think so. This has not been a decision for NATO. It does affect conversations on security issues with two NATO members. But it does not require decisions by NATO as a whole.

[The Day] How would you explain the objections of Russia and even former Ukrainian defence minister Kuzmuk, who says that this deployment, those elements of missile defense, will be a threat to Russia?

[Amb. Taylor] Honestly, I don`t know. As I said in response to your first question, these systems, if they eventually agree, will have no effect on Russia. Indeed, they would provide some defense for Russia, which should be concerned about missiles coming from Iran, as well as Europe and the United States.

During a recent press conference President Putin hastened to say that there would be an adequate response from Russia to this threat connected with the deployment of the US National Missile Defense in Europe.

Since there is no such a threat, I don`t know what an adequate response will be. However, this statement may be true: if he speaks of an adequate response to a threat, an adequate response to no threat is no response.

[The Day] You mentioned your discussions with Ukrainian officials about the deployment of elements of the National Missile Defense in Europe. What was their reaction? Were you able to convince them of the necessity of such a step?

[Amb. Taylor] I don`t know, you had better ask those Ukrainian officials if they are convinced. However, I`ve been very pleased with the nature of the discussions with Ukrainian officials. They recognize the geography and geometry questions that you and I have spoken about.

[The Day] If the Czech and Polish governments approve the decision to deploy elements of the NMD, is there a possibility of engaging Ukraine, possibly together with Russia, to take part in the work to implement this project?

[Amb. Taylor] The answer is built into your question. Yes, this problem can best be examined after the discussion with the Poles and Czechs. But during those discussions we will keep our Russian friends and our Ukrainian partners well-informed of the progress of these discussions.

[The Day] Why, in your opinion, have many high-ranking Russian military men and defense experts from the very beginning rejected the possibility of getting Russia on board regarding the deployment of anti-missile defense elements in Europe?

[Amb. Taylor] I don`t know why the Russians take the actions they do. But in any case, any participation in this anti- missile program would be purely voluntary on the part of the Russians or Ukrainians, or the Czechs or Poles.

[The Day] There is some public concern, and even polls in Poland show, that more than half the population is not in favor of such deployment, and there are rising protests in the Czech Republic against the placing of the radar. In light of this situation, will the United States insist on carrying out this project?

]Amb. Taylor] No, we will not insist. This is a decision for the government of Poland and the government of the Czech Republic. We are not insisting now and will not insist in the future. This will be a decision for those two governments. They are fully sovereign governments, they represent their people, and we fully respect them.

[The Day] How would you explain the opinion voiced by some politicians that the US has already lost the information part of this campaign?

[Amb. Taylor] The United States must do this - explain our rationale for these discussions taking place concerning these deployments to the people and reporters who have questions about this.

I think we have convincing arguments that these systems are directed at missiles coming from the Middle East. If these systems are deployed, Europe, including Ukraine, and the United States will be more secure. We need to be clear about that calculation.

One thing that might help in this - we see on the map: this is the Persian Gulf, this is Washington D.C. This is the shortest distance that a missile will take. And this shows that the Czech Republic and Poland are right on that trajectory. This is something you will not see when looking at a flat

map. The next question is explaining ourselves.

I think it is this kind of analysis and conclusion and the fact that the weapon systems placed in these areas will defend the United States and Europe. This is the most important argument.

[The Day] What is the deadline by which the Polish and Czech governments should make their decision? Has one been established?

[Amb. Taylor] I don`t know about any deadline. The discussions, or serious negotiations, will begin in a couple of months; they will only start in a couple of months.

[The Day] Is this a good time for the initial disclosure of this information, considering that the Russian elections are approaching?

[Amb. Taylor] The time to begin talking about this was not based on political decisions like the Russian elections. The time was based on when the discussions were necessary in order to keep the planning going of the deployment of these systems.

President Bush released the National Policy of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense in May 2003. In this policy it was explicit that this was to defend the United States as well as their friends and allies. So, this has been the US line for four years, since 2003.

[The Day] Do you believe that at some point in the future Russia and the US, as countries with huge arsenals of ballistic missiles and ballistic missile capabilities, will join forces to create a shield not just for part of the world but the whole world?

[Amb. Taylor] This would be a very positive thing for the world`s security. We all face the threats of nuclear ballistic weapons coming from Iran and North Korea. Russia is threatened, Europe is threatened, and the US is threatened. The world is threatened. We could come up with a defense against those states, those irresponsible states, which would be for international

security.

But not every country believes this, especially Russia, that the two countries you mention are irresponsible. The Russians, I think, agree with us that Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons are a threat.

[The Day] Why is there no agreement or mutual understanding between the US and Russia with regard to the deployment of the American NMD system in Europe?

[Amb. Taylor] I believe that the Russians, some Ukrainians, some Poles, some Czechs, as they think this through and look at the analysis, in the end they will agree that they will be better off if there are preventive measures against these threats.

This news was monitored by the Action Ukraine Monitoring Service for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, Editor.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Do not throw the baby out with the bath water. Opposition Alliance threatens Ukraine's political stability

Our Ukraine and Yulia Tymoshenko's back to together again alliance is very much in favour of the Presidential camp and not so favourable for Yulia or Ukraine.

The basis of the agreed positions between Our Ukraine and BYuT underpins the power of the President who as a result of the agreement it is said is embarking on a policy of revenge aimed at destabilising Ukraine's Parliamentary system of Governance.

The President has two very powerful entitlements under the provisions of Ukraine's constitution.

1) the power of veto
2) the right to suspend actions of the Cabinet of Ministers that he considers to be unconstitutional

The first power is readily open to abuse. The President can for what ever reason he considers appropriate veto and legislation put forward by the Government.

We saw the abuse of this power when Viktor Yushchenko sought to veto the second passing of the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers. The law as presented to him a second time had a typographical error in its printing having combined two paragraphs into one. The words as I understand were the same, but according to the office of the President this, debatable, technical error was sufficient to afford the President the right to veto the law on the cabinet a second time thus nullifying the fact that the law had been passed with the statutory 2/3rds majority required to override the President's right of veto.

The deal struck between Yulia Tymoshenko and Our Ukraine will ensure that the President's right of veto will not be overridden in the foreseeable future irrespective of it's merits.

The second power is not so straight forward in that the President must make an concurrent application for review by the Constitutional Court in order to suspend the actions of the executive government. Although a little more restrictive then the power of veto it never the less is also open to abuse and can be used as an effective a tool for delay and destabilisation.

An alliance between our Ukraine and BYuT places out of reach any chance of the parliament to hold the President to account. The numbers required (3/4) to impeach the President are unattainable.

The President as he had demonstrated over the budget can continue to prevent the government from functioning.

Olexander Moroz last week warned of a conspiracy between the two opposition parties to destabilise the government in what ever way possible so as to create grounds and justification to dismiss the Parliament and hold early Parliamentary elections in the hope that they will fare better in new ballot.

The possibility of Moroz's comments being true are not just a figment of imagination but possible reality.


If our Ukraine and BYuT pursue this course of action there are real risks and unintended consequences that must also be taken into consideration.

The abuse of Presidential power and the destabilisation of Ukraine's parliamentary democracy would seriously divide Ukraine and even if successful in the short term would set back Ukraine's democratic development years of even decades, not to mention the possible economic impacts that would result from such actions.

The suggested strategy runs the risk of backfiring

Even if the opposition are successful and they are returned with a slim majority following fresh Parliamentary elections the question still remains as to if and whether Our Ukraine and Yulia Tymoshenko can provide a stable government. The extent of acrimony and opposition between the two parties since Yushchenko sacked Yulia Tymoshenko as prime-minister and Our Ukraine's attempts to oust Yulia from regaining the post of prime-minister and their failed negotiations and delays in the formation of an orange governing coalition that occurred after the last parliamentary elections runs deep and political memories of betrayal last a long long time.

Throwing the baby out with the water - reversal of democratic parliamentary reforms

Part of the campaign of winning a second chance at being elected to government is to seek the reversal of the democratic reforms that saw Ukraine transit from a Presidential dictatorship towards a Parliamentary democracies bring Ukraine in-line with a majority of EU counties all who are successful parliamentary democracies.

If the opposition alliance is successful in reversing the democratic reforms that were agreed to the lead-up to the final Presidential ballot in 2004 they manage to hold the country together after destabilising the current government in order to create an excuse and are or reason for the President to dismiss the elected parliament and they are successful in winning seats at a fresh elections they then face the situation where they must deliver or else face losing the 2009 Presidential ballot as the tide would most certainly shift the balance of probabilities back to the opposing forces.

The last thing the Yulia and Yushchenko need is to restore power back in the hands of the president only to hand it over to their opposition in 2009

Which ever way you look at it the suggested strategy of destabilisation is very risk indeed and does little to restore confidence in Ukraine's democratic future development.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lynch Mob

Democracy under siege

TAMMY LYNCH, the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy (A US Boston University "Think Tank") has published an opinion piece on the Universities web site. (Copy below)

Ms Lynch in this article makes her assessment in relation to recent political events in Ukraine in relation to the resignation of Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Borys Tarasyuk, and the government's "Law on Cabinet of Ministers" which Tammy Lynch claims the Parliament is usurping the President's authority.

Her assessment is based on a number false assumptions which brings the content of her article into question.

Borys Tarasyuk, the former Foreign Affairs Minister, resigned following a vote of no-confidence in his role of Ukraine's Foreign Minister. The vote of no-confidence was supported by over 2/3rds of Ukraine's elected Parliament. the Parliament effectively sacked Borys Tarasyuk, removing him from the post of Foreign Minister, and for good cause.

Under Ukraine's constitution both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, contrary to the assumption made by Tammy Lynch, is appointed by the parliament (Article 85 (12)) on the submission of the President. (Article 106 (9-10))

Tammy Lynch refers to Borys Tarasyuk as being "pro-West" and by inference imply that those opposed to Borys Tarasyuk are "anti-West". Comments such as "pro-west" continue to promote false and misleading stereotypes and in doing so reflects poorly on Tammy Lynch and her organisation's assessment.

Borys Tarsyuk's resignation was long overdue. His actions, in the lead-up to Ukraine's Prime-minister's visit to the United States, had exceeded his authority and in the process brought Ukraine into international disrepute. It was his lack of professionalism that resulted in the parliament passing a vote of no-confidence in his role as Foreign Minister.

Convention and laws in Western democracies requires that if a Minister has lost the confidence of the legislative body he/she must resign or be dismissed.

Foreign policy in Ukraine is determined by the Parliament (
Articles 85 (5), 92 (9)) according to established law. Ukraine's President and the Foreign Affair's Minister are charged with the responsibility of representing and administering Ukraine's Foreign Policy. (Article 106 (3)).

According to Ukraine's Constitution (English version supplied to the Venice Commission) The President does not determine Ukraine's Foreign Policy and nor does he appoint the Prime-Minister or the position of Foreign Minister.

The Ukrainian Parliament recently passed a Law on the Cabinet of Ministers, governing the relationship and activities of the executive government, establishing the necessary checks and balances and rule of law required for good governance. This law is similar to other laws, regulations and conventions that exist in "western" democracies.

Tammy Lynch in her article asserts that the Law of the Cabinet of Ministers usurps the authority and rights of the President's to appoint the Prime-minster and his nominee of Foreign-Minister.

Given that the President does not appoint either the Prime-minster or Foreign Minister it is difficult to see how and in what way the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers infringes on the rights of the President. (Perhaps Tammy has been reading the English version published on the Ukrainian President's Internet site which differs from that provided to the Venice commission and in reading looks like it is out of date and does not reflect the amendments passed in December 2004)

The issue of who appoints the Prime-Minster and Foreign Affairs Minister goes to the heart of Tammy Lynches assertion that the law of the Cabinet of Ministers in unconstitutional.

The President, Viktor Yushchenko, as asserted by Tammy Lynch, claimed in his submission to the Parliament that his authority has been usurped and that the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers is as such unconstitutional.

The President had previously exercised his right of veto against the law but his right of veto was overturned by a statutory majority of 2/3rds of the elected Parliament. The President refused to sign the law asserting that the Parliament had erred in that it failed to consider his submission on the proposed law. Parliament did consider the President's submission and has done so again in a proposed amendment to the law that was considered as a compromise to try and meet some of the President's concerns.

It is not the Office of the President that is under siege but democracy itself.

Ukraine is a parliamentary democracy,
in line with other European Nations, no longer governed by Presidential decree but by Parliamentary rule of law.

With the
President engaged in a systematic campaign to undermine Ukraine's parliamentary governance.

The current parliament was elected in March 2006 in what has universally been recognised as Ukraine's most open, transparent, honest and democratic elections.
The problem from the President's perspective is that his party "Our Ukraine" failed to secure the support of the people of Ukraine (Our Ukraine received only 13% of the vote) and they also failed to negotiate an agreement to form a coalition government. Having lost the election and no longer in control of government Viktor Yushchenko is now engaged in a divisive and destructive power struggle challenging and the right of the democratically elected parliament to govern.

The Parliament, as recent as last week, has adopted a number of amendments to the Law on the Cabinet of Minsters in line with the President's submission. The proposed amendments in line with the President's submission were not supported by the President's Party Our Ukraine, who voted against the motion.










Ukraine’s Yushchenko Under Siege
Source:
Boston University

by TAMMY LYNCH
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy

On 30 January, Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko suffered a major blow when he was forced to accept the resignation of his pro-western Foreign Minister and longtime ally Borys Tarsyuk. (1) The resignation is the latest salvo in a political struggle that has left Yushchenko isolated and under a continuous barrage not only from Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, but also from his former ally and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. In the process, Yushchenko, largely through his own actions, has lost most of the authority he won during the Orange Revolution.

The political struggle also has caused confusion in foreign capitals; it is unclear who is directing foreign policy, it is unclear who speaks for Ukraine internationally, and it is unclear if either the president or the prime minister has the ability to follow through on promises made to potential international allies.

The Tarasyuk saga

Borys Tarasyuk had been in the middle of a tug of war between the president and prime the minister for almost two months. On 1 December, at Prime Minister Yanukovych’s request, parliament voted to dismiss Tarasyuk, who had been appointed by Yushchenko. The president strenuously objected to the move and maintains that the vote was invalid. (2) This dispute between the president and prime minister centered on Tarasyuk’s unfailing pro-western orientation and his determination to pursue European Union and NATO membership for his country. Yanukovych has rhetorically supported Ukraine’s pro-Western orientation, but rejects NATO membership and has stopped all concrete movement toward the EU.

Until his resignation, Tarasyuk continued to represent Ukraine on foreign trips at Yushchenko’s behest, while at the same time being barred by government security from entering his office or participating in cabinet meetings. (3) However, possibly in reaction to a decision by a Ukrainian district court to call Yushchenko to testify during Tarasyuk’s appeal, the president backed down. The retreat likely signals a major foreign policy shift, with only one Yushchenko ally remaining in the government – Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko. Although the constitution allows Yushchenko to appoint a new foreign minister, the parliament must approve the nomination.

Law on cabinet shifts powers to Yanukovych

The domestic situation in Ukraine became significantly more confusing on 12 January, when parliament extended its attack to include not only Yushchenko’s foreign minister, but also Yushchenko’s most basic influence on the government. The chamber voted to override Yushchenko’s veto of a bill that drastically reduces his power. (4) In particular, the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers allows the parliament to appoint the prime minister without presidential approval, taking away Yushchenko’s ability to influence the formation of the cabinet. The bill also grants the prime minister the authority to appoint and dismiss the foreign and defense ministers, removing this prerogative from Yushchenko’s purview.

This latter provision directly contradicts the country’s constitution and likely would be overturned in any constitutional legal challenge.

Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine political bloc is challenging the legality of the Law on the Cabinet override, based on what the party says are differences in the wording of the bill originally vetoed by the president and the bill sent to the president after the override vote. The president received new wording of the bill, his press service said, and therefore, parliament’s vote cannot be considered an override. (5) On 22 January, following an Our Ukraine complaint, the Mukacheva District Court agreed with the president and issued an injunction against implementation of the law, pending further review. (6)

Prime Minister Yanukovych and his ally, Parliamentary Speaker Oleksandr Moroz, deny that the wording of the bill was changed and have vowed to implement the law, despite the court order. On 30 January, Moroz published “information about the official publication” of the law in the government and parliament newspapers, but has refrained from publishing the text. (7) One day earlier, he suggested that parliament may be ready to support the president's amendments to the law. (8) The president responded weakly by calling for a “roundtable” to search for “compromise.” (9) Given the lack of success at past presidential roundtables, and his retreat over Tarasyuk, it is doubtful that such a move would do much to ease Yushchenko’s plight. It is clear, however, that Ukraine remains mired in a legal and political morass.

Tymoshenko sends Yushchenko a message

The override removing many of Yushchenko’s powers succeeded only because his former Orange Revolution ally Yulia Tymoshenko chose to support the measure. With this vote, it became apparent that the president no longer can expect the unilateral support of her bloc on any piece of legislation – even a measure on which they were united previously. The vote against the president seemed unexpected to members of Our Ukraine, who marched out of the parliamentary chamber in protest. (10) Yushchenko can now count on the support of only 80 out of 450 deputies for his proposals – on a good day.

The move by Tymoshenko prompted cries of “betrayal” from Our Ukraine, and suggestions that Tymoshenko and the 125 members of her parliamentary bloc had turned away from the “orange ideals.” (11)

The vote also shocked many of those who had stood in Ukraine’s Independence Square, watching their two leaders arm in arm, during what would become known as the Orange Revolution. Although the two have endured strained relations throughout most of their political careers, a vote by Tymoshenko to remove significant powers from Yushchenko and turn them over to revolution opponent Yanukovych seemed unimaginable. This is particularly true since, in 2004, Tymoshenko fought vehemently against constitutional reforms that granted the prime minister’s office greater powers – reforms which Yushchenko ironically supported.

But much has changed in Ukraine. Since the Orange Revolution, Yushchenko has seen a significant diminution in public support, while both Yanukovych and Tymoshenko have seen their popularity ratings surpass the president’s.

Some history

Instead of moving quickly to consolidate his power directly after taking office, Viktor Yushchenko chose to separate himself from his closest allies, while reaching out to his former opponents. In the process, he alienated his revolution partner Tymoshenko and allowed Yanukovych gradually to undermine his power.

Despite the current suggestion from Our Ukraine that Tymoshenko has betrayed them with this latest vote, the first break in the “Orange” team, as Yushchenko and Tymoshenko became known during the revolution, actually occurred when Yushchenko dismissed Tymoshenko from the post of prime minister in September 2005. The dismissal came during a purge of several Yushchenko allies who had been accused of corrupt or inappropriate activities (none were ever proven) in their positions.

Neither Tymoshenko nor anyone in her cabinet was mentioned in these allegations, but the prime minister had used her position successfully to increase her popularity and had bumped heads with Yushchenko's aides on a number of issues. When the president dismissed his tarnished aides, in one broad sweep, he dismissed Tymoshenko and her allies, too. (12)

Shortly thereafter, Yushchenko signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Viktor Yanukovych, resuscitating the political career of his former presidential and revolution opponent. In return, Yanukovych agreed to vote to confirm Yushchenko’s new choice for prime minister. (13) The president was criticized heavily for the agreement, which included support of an amnesty for electoral fraud and the introduction of immunity from prosecution for local deputies. (14)

The voters took their first revenge during the March 2006 parliamentary elections, as Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine bloc (14%) was beaten soundly by The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYUT) (23%). Yanukovych, meanwhile, placed first with 32%. But instead of actively supporting a reuniting of the “orange coalition,” which would have controlled a parliamentary majority, Yushchenko introduced Yanukovych’s name into parliament for confirmation as prime minister. Our Ukraine joined an ill-fated coalition government with Yanukovych, and Tymoshenko announced her “radical opposition” to the government.

Reading the tea leaves

Given the history of the two since the Orange Revolution, it is no surprise that Tymoshenko’s reflex reaction to support Yushchenko was not in top form. Nevertheless, the vote by Tymoshenko is more than a bit perplexing. As longtime Ukraine analyst Taras Kuzio wrote in his recent BBC blog, “Those of us who have been following Soviet and post-Soviet developments have become used to reading between the lines and figuring out what is really going on behind the scenes. This ability is now seriously stretched.” (15) Surely, there must be more of a reason for the vote than irritation over Yushchenko’s past treatment of his former ally.

Tymoshenko quickly suggested that this vote "absolutely did not" represent any alliance with Yanukovych and named several reasons for the action. First, in return for assisting in the override of the President’s veto, the ruling coalition supported, in the first reading, the Law on the Opposition. This bill, which guarantees the political opposition a number of important rights, could be a major step forward in Ukrainian politics. If passed into law in the second reading, it would place Ukraine securely in the realm of Western European, pluralistic, parliamentary republics. Tymoshenko said, “What you have seen is an interim position in order to secure gains for Ukraine’s long-term future.” (16) But even Tymoshenko admitted that passage of the Law on Opposition in the second reading is not guaranteed.

BYUT's Law on Imperative Mandate for local councils also was passed in the second reading. The law will make it virtually impossible for a local deputy elected on a party list to oppose the wishes of the party leadership, for fear of being expelled. This could be a major improvement, eliminating the potential for bribery, extortion and coercion of individual deputies. This will only be the case, however, if the provision to expel members is not abused by party leadership.

Tymoshenko also suggested that the vote would “end the constitutional crisis” between the president and the prime minister by placing power securely in the hands of one, and that this vote is meant to set the stage for a dismissal of parliament by the president. (17) In fact, at a meeting congress of 3,000 BYUT local deputies, Tymoshenko announced that she already had begun creating a new election list for a new election. (18)

It seems unlikely that this vote by BYUT will end the constitutional crisis, since constitutional challenges are likely to ensue if the law comes into force as passed. Moreover, it seems even less likely that Yushchenko will embrace Tymoshenko’s idea to dismiss parliament, which would necessitate working with Tymoshenko during and following any new parliamentary election. In the past, Yushchenko has demonstrated an almost pathological aversion to working with Tymoshenko, even to his own detriment and to the detriment of his programs. This likely will increase after the latest vote.

It may be possible that Tymoshenko doesn’t have any real expectation that the president will dismiss parliament, especially given the lack of any legal reason to do so. Instead, with the vote, Tymoshenko forces Yushchenko into a choice—enter into further agreements and compromises with Yanukovych or begin working in a collaborative manner again with her to push forward his agenda.

The situation resembles that of September 2005, when Tymoshenko refused to support Yushchenko’s choice to replace her as prime minister. The president then chose to sign the soon-to-be-broken Memorandum of Understanding with Yanukovych. This move drastically undermined voter support for him and his party, and would not have been necessary had Tymoshenko supported him. Tymoshenko used that memorandum effectively in her parliamentary election campaign.

To this end, BYUT deputy head and foreign policy advisor Hryhoriy Nemyria suggests that Tymoshenko was attempting to block any possible new agreements between Yushchenko and Yanukovych, thus clarifying once again the choice facing the president. (19)

Regardless, in Internet chat rooms and on the streets of Kyiv, voters now are expressing not only irritation with Yushchenko, but also with Tymoshenko, for voting “with” the man she has always fought, and against the man she has always supported. She, no doubt, is trusting that her oratory and political skills, which have served her in good stead in the past, will help her explain her position and calm the criticism of this vote. Should Tymoshenko quickly return to “radical” opposition tactics, voters may overlook this “situational” alliance with Yanukovych—as they did after the September 2005 prime minister vote. But there is no doubt that the strategy is a risky one.

The next steps of both Tymoshenko and Yushchenko will determine what effect this vote may or may not have on their popularity and on the future direction of the country. While nothing is certain in Ukraine, given the President’s past inability to outmaneuver opponents politically, prospects for his political career seem bleak. And prospects for Ukraine’s Western orientation also seem dim in the near future.

“Frankly speaking, we do not understand who represents Ukraine,” said Poland’s Ambassador to Ukraine Jazec Klyuchkovsk recently. (20) Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga was even more blunt during the Davos World Economic Forum on 26 January. "The Ukrainian people deserve much better than what they have,” she said. (21)

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Moroz warns of Presidential plot to destabilize Ukraine's economic and democratic development in order to regain power

Spring Attack Warning - Olexander Moroz

Viktor Yushchenko, "Our Ukraine" and Yulia Tymoshenko must think twice before opening Pandora's box.

Olexander Moroz. leader of the Socialists Party of Ukraine, today express his concern that Ukraine's President and his Party Our Ukraine and Yulia Tymoshenko bloc are actively planning to destabilize Ukraine's political and democratic development in the hope of securing fresh parliamentary election that will see them elected to a more favourable position that what they managed to achieve in the March 2006 Parliamentary election.

There is no justification that warrants the dismissal of the governing coalition which was formed after Our Ukraine failed to compromise and negotiate a role and position in the parliamentary government.

The March 2006 Parliamentary elections were acknowledged by all major political forces and international observers to have been a fair and democratic contest.

If the President summarily dismisses the Parliament without just cause and continues down the path of destabilization of Ukraine's democratically elected parliament then the people will lose all confidence in the democratic system and Ukraine will fall into a situation of civil unrest.

Olexander Moroz speaks the truth when he warns of the dire consequences of such action. If they continue down this path and succeed in having the parliament dismissed their is the potential of major civil unrest and even the possible of a protracted civil war.

We hope it does not come to this and that common sense will prevail.




Socialists revealed Yushchenko plan
Source:Forum

The Socialistic Party of Ukraine is convinced that the Secretariat of the President tries to create joint opposition in the Verkhovna Rada in order to destabilize the situation in the country.

The press service of the SPU spread the correspondent statement of the SPU.

The SPU considers that statements of the people’s deputies Yulia Tymoshenko and Vyacheslav Kyrylenko “On joint oppositional activity in the Parliamentary” is “practical implementation of the program of destabilization of political situation, managed by the Secretariat of the President of Ukraine, the constituent part of which is to press on the Parliament by forces of oppositional deputies.”

The socialists consider that the true reason of statement “On joint oppositional activity in the Parliament” is a wish to cancel changes in the Constitution and to get the dismissal of the Parliament.

The SPU warns the society about risky character of acts of those who calls upon confrontation, destabilization and so called “spring attack”


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Ukraine's linguistic battle continues to divide

Ukraine continues to be divided over the issue of language.

An issue that is in the forefront of Ukrainian ultra-nationalist's political agenda. An issue that if left alone would resolve itself. There are far more important issues that confront Ukraine and linguistics is the least of them all.

Yes Ukrainian should be taught in Schools and no one objects to it being the official language, but does it need to be the only language that is used or allowed?

Victor Yuschenko, only this week, called upon the Government to impose the requirement that Cinemas in Ukrainian must be dubbed in Ukrainian.

There is nothing worst then listening to a poor voice over dubbing of Ukrainian over a Russian speaking movie. In fact it is arguable that all voice over movies should be banned and replaced with subtitles if only for the viewers enjoyment. Freedom from bad quality voice overs.

Technology is such that consumers can be offered a choice of language. The market and consumers should be able to decide what movies and in what language they want to watch.

Government should not be regulating of interfering in the creative arts. Any decision related which languages is used should be that of the director/producer or distributor not the state. In a free society consumers should have the right to choose. The Government should encourage not dictate.

Language itself is a living entity. It changes over time with exposure to new culture, technology and common use.

English today is not the English that was first published in the King James version of the Bible or used by Shakespeare. Even in Ukraine there is a blend of Ukrainian/Russian that is commonly in use. The purest from of Ukrainian spoken today is in the Poltava Region. Lviv is a blend of Polish and Western Ukraine has a Hutzal/ Hungarian flavour. Modern day English words are also being adopted as technology and the English language begins to permeate through the country. History shows that the French, Swedish and Germans have all contributed their bit in the development of modern Ukrainian.

The former Austrian/Hungarian empire has a policy where each region could use their common local language and they did not try and impose a state language. That changed of course with the rule of the Czars and the former Soviet Union. Russian was imposed on the Ukraine, and we do not support that policy either. But the fact remains that there is a significant proportion of the Ukrainian in population that want to continue to speak their mother tongue, being Russian, and go about their day to day official business using a language that they understand. Many Ukrainian/Russian Speakers can of course understand Ukrainian but some can not. I can not understand Scottish at time if the accent is strong.

The sooner Ukraine can put this issue to rest, the sooner they adopt multiple languages (as exists in Ireland, Switzerland and Canada) the sooner Ukraine can begin to consider other issues more important, the sooner they can unite as one nation. Ukraine's greatest strength is its diversity and history of various cultures.

Notes:

Extract from Ukraine's constitution.


Article 10

The state language of Ukraine is the Ukrainian language. (Editors note: It does not mention Sole Langauge as incorrectly referred to in the Kyiv Post article below)

The State ensures the comprehensive development and functioning of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of social life throughout the entire territory of Ukraine.

In Ukraine, the free development, use and protection of Russian, and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed.

The State promotes the learning of languages of international communication.

The use of languages in Ukraine is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine and is determined by law.

Article 11

The State promotes the consolidation and development of the Ukrainian nation, of its historical consciousness, traditions and culture, and also the development of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of all indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine.

Article 24

Citizens have equal constitutional rights and freedoms and are equal before the law.

There shall be no privileges or restrictions based on race, colour of skin, political, religious and other beliefs, sex, ethnic and social origin, property status, place of residence, linguistic or other characteristics.

Article 92

The following are determined exclusively by the laws of Ukraine:..

4) the procedure for the use of languages;



Local court restores special status for Russian language in Ukrainian eastern city

Source: Kyiv Post Feb 07 2007, 14:48


KYIV (AP) - A local appeals court has restored a special status for the Russian language in an eastern city in Ukraine, officials said Wednesday.

The city council in Kharkiv voted in March to make Russian a regional language, allowing it to be used together with Ukrainian in state and public institutions as well as at universities and cultural institutions.

Local prosecutors filed a lawsuit against the decision and won the case in court. But the city council challenged the decision at the local appeals court.

The Constitution adopted by Ukraine following the 1991 Soviet collapse declared Ukrainian as the sole state language, but many Ukrainians, particularly in the east and on the southern Crimean Peninsula, consider Russian to be their native tongue.

Six regional governments and nine city councils in the east and south last year granted Russian special status – decisions that were heavily criticized by President Viktor Yushchenko.

The Party of the Regions, whose leader, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, enjoys strong support in the east and south, campaigned in elections last year on a promise to make Russian a second state language.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Latest polling figures published by Interfax. Party of Regions would secure 50% of the Parliament in fresh parliamentary elections

Latest polling figures published by Interfax proves interesting reading.

If fresh Parliamentary elections were held today, Viktor Yanukovych, Party of Regions would secure 50% of the Parliamentary positions.

And depending on who Party of regions supported for the President's job their nominee would face Yulia Tymoshenko in a run off battle for President, with the incumbent President, Viktor Yushchenko, on 11% loosing in the first round.

The poll indicates that only 59.7 percent would vote for a political party that exceeds the arbitrary 3% threshold level. That leave 30% of Ukrainians disenfranchised .

Clearly there is need for electoral reform.

Under the current system Party of Regions would see their 29.9% of the vote elect 50% of the positions available.

The adoption of a preferential voting system would allow voters who support minor parties to choose who should represent them in the parliament as opposed to the scaling up of the votes that support parties that exceed the 3% threshold quota


Yanukovych Most Popular Politician In Ukraine - Poll

KYIV. Feb 6 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych is the only politician in the country whose work is supported by more people than disapproved of, according to a poll of 2,025 respondents no younger than 18, which the Sofia social survey center conducted in all regions of Ukraine on January 19-26.

The poll showed that 49.3% of the respondents support Yanukovych course, while 46.2% are critical about it, Oleksandr Levtsin of Sofia said. Yulia Tymoshenko, a former primer minister and currently an influential parliamentary leader, is trusted by 37.1%, and former parliamentary speaker and People's Party leader Volodymyr Lytvyn by 35.5%. Former President Leonid Kuchma is trusted by only 1.2%.

More than half of those polled - 51.6% - are convinced that the prime minister is a strong leader capable of consolidating the nation and radically changing the situation in the country. Only 23.5% of those polled consider him a weak politician incapable of changing the situation in the country for the better.

Nearly half of the respondents - 46.1% - would not support the holding of early parliamentary elections, 24.3% support this idea, and the rest were either indifferent to it or were undecided.

If parliamentary elections were held within a week, the Party of Regions would receive 29.9% of the vote, the Batkivshchyna party 18.2%, Our Ukraine 7.9%, the Communist Party 3.7%, and the rest of the parties would get no more than 3%.

Another 10.8% were undecided, and 11.9% would refuse to vote.

If presidential elections were held within the next week, Yanukovych would garner 32.5% of the vote in the first round, Tymoshenko 19.3%, President Viktor Yushchenko 11.1%, and Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko 3.7%. The rest of potential presidential candidates, including Lytvyn, presidential advisor Yuri Lutsenko, parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz, and Progressive Socialist Party leader Natalya Vitrenko, would receive less than 3% of the vote. As many as 5.4% would vote against all, and 8.2% would not go to the polling stations.

If Yanukovych and Tymoshenko proceeded to the second round, Yanukovych would be supported by 41.9% and Tymoshenko by 31.2%, 12% would vote against both, and 9.1% would not cast their ballots.

If Yanukovych and Yushchenko competed in the second round of the elections, the current premier would be supported by 42.1% and president by 23.8%, and 18.1% would vote against all.

If Yushchenko and Tymoshenko would be in the runoff, Yushchenko would get 17% and Tymoshenko 29.7%, but 32.4% would vote against all.

As many as 32.3% of the respondents assess the work of the Yanukovych government partially positively, 21.7% basically positively, 24.6% basically negatively, and 17.7% believe it is too early yet to assess this government's performance.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Democracy in development

Constitutional reform set to head agenda and the need for further electoral reform

Ukraine is once again about to embark on a series of debates and potentially futile exercise of seeking further Constitutional reform.

There is almost unanimous opinion that Ukraine's Constitution is in need of serious review but the problems lies in the detail and the policy of reform. Ukraine has made considerable steps towards democratic reform. Its decision to move towards a Parliamentary democracy as opposed to the previous system of governance by presidential decree was a step in the right direction. It has brought Ukraine more in line with other Western/European democracies along with the adoption of Parliamentary democracy is a significant improvement in the number and extent of checks and balances that were not previously available under the old Presidential dictatorship model .


The problem Ukraine now faces is that there is wide disagreement within the Presidential and Parliament camps about the extent and direction of the political reform.


Ukraine's political divide.

To understand the issues and politics involved in the proposed constitutional reform it is worth reflect on events that have occurred over the last 12 months.

The President's political party Our Ukraine wants to see a return to the 'good old days' where all the power is centred in the hands of one individual, The President, who currently happens to be their leader.

Victor Yuschenko, Ukraine's current President was elected on the understanding and agreement that Ukraine would transit towards a parliamentary system of government. Proposals for the adoption a parliamentary democracy was widely supported back in 2002 and 2004. In 2004 proposals to move to a parliamentary system of governance was narrowly defeated when Our Ukraine opportunitictly opposed reform (which failed to achieve the 2/3rds statutory majority by less then 5 votes) in the expectation that they would win the presidency and as such they wanted to hold on to as much power as possible.

It was not until the conflict that arose during the November/December 2004 presidential election, where public support for the two main rival groups was equally divided. In order to bring about a peaceful resolution of the conflict and division all major political parties agreed to the proposed changes to the constitution and the transition to a parliamentary system of parliamentary democracy following the 2006 National Parliament elections. The proposed changes were in line with previous debate but with some concessions made to allow the President to retain authority and power over Foreign Affairs and Defence

Ukraine's Parliament was elected on a party list system similar to the system that applies to most European Parliamentary democracies.


The March 2006 elections have come and gone.

The conduct of the elections overall were deemed to be open, transparent and fair having received universal endorsement from all international observers. There were some issues of concern and disappointment. 22% of voters were effectively disenfranchised and had no say in who was elected to represent them as a result of the arbitrary 3% quota barrier imposed. One party Natalia Vintenko Bloc received over 3% of the formal vote but fell short by less then 0.05% of the 3% quota of the total overall vote which included informal votes (votes which did not express a clear intention or left blank)


The March 2006 Parliamentary elections were close and mirrored more or less the results of the first round of the 2004 Presidential election.

Victor Yuschenko and his Our Ukraine party had been in power for over 15 months. Our Ukraine and the President failed to capitalise and build support during its time in office. Community support for Our Ukraine and the President dwindled significantly following Yuschenko's dismissal of Yulia Tymoshenko (The Orange revolution princess) as Prime Minister. In March 2006 Our Ukraine received less then 13% of the overall vote. Yulia Tymoshenko's block received 22% support, the Socialist Party of Ukraine 6%, the Communists 4% and Party of Regions headed by Victor Yanakovych with 33% support was the highest polling group (under the British and US first past the post electoral system Party of Regions would have been declared the winner)

For a while the results of the election and the numbers looked like the Orange coalition combined support had the numbers to form a governing coalition. but in the period following the national elections Our Ukraine, who had performed dismally in the 2006 elections, refused to give its immediate support to the formation of an Orange coalition.

Ukraine's Parliament, under the terms of its constitution, had a limit of 3 months from the declaration of the poll and the first day of sitting of the new parliament in which to form a governing coalition and time was fast running out.


The attempted ousting of Yulia

Our Ukraine, at first, tried to oust Yulia Tymoshenko, who controlled most of the numbers of the Orange parliamentary block, from seeking to regain the position of Prime-Minister. Victor Yuschenko had only six months prior to the March election dismissed Yulia Tymoshenko as prime-minister and replaced her with his own party's nominee from Our Ukraine. Their attempts to oust Yulia Tymoshnko fell on death ears and received little public and internal support.

Our Ukraine having failed to receive public support and internal support for the ousting of Yulia Tymoshenko proceeded to undermine the Orange coalition by attacking the Socialist Party and their desire to share power and secure the position of Parliamentary Speaker. After all Our Ukraine had the presidency, Yulia Tymoshenko had the position of prime Minister it was only fair and just that Olexander Moroz , Socialist Party leader be given the Speaker's post. This would leave Our Ukraine the right to nominate for vice prime-minter and hold all of the major economic and financial portfolios.

Yulia Tymoshenko was back, having received the highest number of votes amongst the orange coalition parties, she rightly demanded the Prime-ministers position. When Our Ukraine failed in its attempts to oust Yulia from the top position they then embarked on a policy of delay undermining the negotiations and formation of a governing coalition. This delay allowed their man to remain in the top job a few months longer, they refused to sign up as a member of the governing orange coalition opting for more discussion and negotiation with the all parties including Party of Regions. By delaying Our Ukraine hoped that the climate of change would blow their way or circumstances would prevail that would allow the President to dismiss the parliament and assume dictatorial control.


Relations between Orange partners sour

In the months following the parliamentary elections the relationship between Our Ukraine and the other Orange coalition members (Yulia Tymoshenko and the Socialists) began to sour even more, to the extent that there was now serious acrimony and bitter confrontations in public with Yulia Tymoshenko supported by Olexander Moroz on one side making accusations against Our Ukraine on the other. Our Ukraine's game play showed signs that they were actively seeking to undermine the formation of any parliamentary government.


NATO plays an ill-fated card at the wrong time

Adding to the problems that were in play in the formation of governing coalition in May 2006 NATO and the US forces invaded Crimea. Invited by the President to participate in a strategic war games exercise. This proved to be a disaster in public relations and had a seriously negative impact on political negotiations. Support and public opinion was against Ukraine joining NATO. NATO membership was also opposed by the Socialist Party who maintains a policy of Ukrainian independence. Many political commentators at the time indicated that NATO involvement and timing played a major role in the events that followed. Public opinion was so strong that the US forces were forced to retreat and the planned visit by US President George Bush was cancelled.


Negations for the marriage failed

Rather then come to a quick and mutual understanding and bring the alliance back on track, the delay and bitter infighting continued with Our Ukraine failing to negotiate in good faith. (Information has since come to light that indicates that Our Ukraine were deliberately stalling agreement to form an orange coalition whilst trying to negotiate a then possible grand alliance coalition that included all parties with the exception of the Communist Party). Our Ukraine hoped and expected that by holding out they would be able to bluff their way into power and control, they wanted to dictate all the terms and conditions in relation to the formation of any alliance.

There were many obstacles and hurdles not the least that Yulia Tymoshenko block refused to do a deal with Party of Regions and why should she, the Orange Coalition in theory had the numbers to form a majority in the newly elected Parliament. All that was required was for Our Ukraine to act in good faith and come one board. Agreement between Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Socialist Party had already been reach the only party missing was Our Ukraine.


Constitutional crisis pending

As time went on and the deadline for the formation of a governing coalition came closer relationships between the Orange coalition partners became more and more acuminous to the point where public confidence in the Orange coalition was virtually non existent. Even if the marriage went ahead the extent of acrimony was so great to was doomed to not last. Something had to give and decision had to be made fast. The deadline was fast approaching and if a governing coalition could not be formed soon Ukraine was facing a major constitutional crisis.


Anti-Crisis coalition formed to break deadlock

The break though came when Olexander Moroz and the Socialist Party decided time had run out, they had lost all confidence in Our Ukraine and its willingness to negotiate in good faith and make necessary compromises on policy and the allocation of portfolios.

The 3 month delays in the formation of a governing coalition was beginning to have a serious impact on Ukraine's economy as a result of the ongoing uncertainly. The restoration of stability and governance was paramount. Olexander Moroz and the Socialists opted for the only other option available to avoid the pending crisis. They agreed with the Party of Regions to form an Anti-Crisis Coalition to allow for the formation of a Parliamentary government.

The anti crisis coalition nominated Olexander Moroz (Socialist party) as parliamentary speaker with Yanakovich (Party of Regions) elected as Prime Minister.


Our Ukraine losses Trump Card as the ground began to shift.

The decision of Olexander Moroz and the Socialist's changed the outcome of the game, Our Ukraine's strategy came to a sudden holt. Woken up by reality. Our Ukraine had a chance to form an Orange coalition and to consolidated their position with the support of their Orange allies but its policy of delay and indecisiveness and lack of commitment to the orange democratic ideals and collapsed like a house of cards. No longer holding the trump card Our Ukraine were left with the wrong suit.

Our Ukraine's lead negotiators soon abandoned Yulia Tymoshenko and approached the governing coalition partners with the aim of seeking to rekindle an alliance and the formation of a new alliance between Party of Regions, the Socialists and Our Ukraine. They offered the support of the Presidency and the possibility of forming a strong stable government. Their offer of a new alliance was based once again on Our Ukraine's agenda, they wanted to sideline the Communist Party and agree on the adoption of the Our Ukraine's policy agenda. One of the biggest stumbling blocks was the issue of power sharing and the Ukraine's membership of NATO, its relationship with America and Russia. Nothing had changed, Our Ukraine was unwilling and unable to compromise on its position in spite it being against public opinion.

Meanwhile Yulia Tymoshenko had resolved to move into opposition and continued to campaign against the new coalition alliance, rightly claiming that Our Ukraine were seeking to join the governing coalition. Half of Our Ukraine wanted to cut a deal and become part of the governing majority the other half sided with Yulia Tymoshenko.


Our Ukraine split their hand

The division within the Our Ukraine camp was beginning to tack its toll; as Our Ukraine tethered in the brink of collapse. The only thing holding them together was the fact that they still held the Office of the Presidency - the Joker of the deck, along with the President's right to nominate the Foreign Affairs and Defence Minister.

The anti-crisis governing coalition began to consolidate its position whilst negotiations with Our Ukraine were continuing, Yanakovich took control of the government and Moroz was given the task of strengthening parliamentary rule. Portfolios were allocated and at first included members of all parties. When Yulia Tymoshenko made a universal declaration of moving into opposition some of here members had to resign from the Government front benches the resignations filled with members of the governing coalition. The government was in place and stability of the government had been restored as they got on with the business of government consolidating even further the governments position.


Our Ukraine without a home

With the change of fortune, Our Ukraine, having failed to win any concessions or agreements and their inability to offer any compromise or substantial support, was once again faced with reality. left out of the game holding a dud hand. Our Ukraine's negotiation with the governing coalition came to an end, The governing coalition declared any further negotiations with Our Ukraine as being futile preferring to go it alone then to have to adopt Our Ukraine's unrealistic policies and demands. Our Ukraine's proposals rejected for a second time.


Change at the helm

The failure of the Our Ukraine's leadership team took its toll and its lead negotiators were forced to resign. With no prospect of forming a meaningful alliance with any other political bloc Our Ukraine was left out in the cold and remain a divided party with a minority status in opposition.


Balance of power shifts as parliamentary democracy takes hold

Our Ukraine's diminishing standing was also beginning to take its toll on the Office of the President with the President's public opinion polling at an all time low, no longer able to command respect and authority, the balance of power had clearly shifted to the ruling Parliamentary coalition.


Foreign Affair brings Ukraine into disrepute

In December 2006, Foreign Affairs Minister, Borys Tarasyuk committed the mortal sin of mixing politics with diplomacy. It backfired big time. Borys Tarasyuck's petty actions brought not only himself, the Office of the President and Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Ministry into disrepute but it also refected poorly on Ukraine as a whole. Needless to say the Parliament was not impressed.

The Parliament considered disciplinary action, and a motion of no-confidence in the Minister was passed by no less then 2/3rds majority of the elected Parliament. Tarasyuk's Ministerial career was over. Well established convention has it that a Minister, a member of the executive council, must resign or face the sack if they lose the confidence of the legislative parliament.

Tarasyuk's claimed he was illegally dismissed and sort to fight it out in the courts. The president Viktor Yushchenko, offered support to his friend and ally but in doing so the president was tarnishing the office of the president itself.

The parliament showed no signes of backing down from its earlier opinion. And once again Ukraine and the Office of the president were facing yet again another potential constitutional crisis.

Tarasyuk managed to buy a ruling of a lower court but that was soon overturned on appeal. He had no legs to stand on. The parliaments right to dismiss the Minister would drag out even longer if the matter was allowed to proceed to a higher court and the chances they would not win any further appeal was very slim indeed.

International relations was at an all time low with Foriegn Government's unable to determine who represented and could speak for Ukraine. The Foriegn Minister's standing had evaporated and it was begining to seriously effect Yushchenko's standing also.

To make matters worst the issue of ministerial responsibility and accountability was the subject of debate as Ukraine's parliament considered and passed a law governing the executive council and Cabinet Ministers. The Law on Cabinet of Ministers made it clear that any minister that has lost the confidence of the parliament had to resign. The proposed law was supported by over 2/3rds majority of the Parliament and as such overrode the earlier veto enforced by the president
The scandal that resulted form the former Ministers action seriously tarnished, both domestically and internationaly, the Offidce of the President .

Another blow to the Our Ukraine camp and a win for the government.


Chest beating as the President flexes his mussel.

The President took the sacking of his nominated Minister personally and considered it to be a direct challenge of his authority and power. Under Ukraine's current constitutional arrangements the President has the right to nominate and appoint Ukraine's Foriegn Affairs and defence Ministers.

The situation where opposing political ideology/parties can appoint members of the executive was always going to create a potential conflict and the actions of Borys Tarasyuk surely created conflict. Tarasyuk having been dismissed by the parliament tried to attend cabinet meetings but his presence and right to participate in Ministerial meetings was challenged. Creating deeper resentment and animosity between the executive branch and the Office of the President.

In what was seen as an act of spite by many, the President decide to flex his mussel and veto the governments budget. Not once but on multiple occasions.

Many western democracies place strict limitations on the head of state and their right to block supply/money bills but no such limitations were in place in Ukriane.

The budget had to be passed and agreed to by the President before the end of the year. Failure to secure agreement on the budget would have created another this time more serious constitutional crisis in that it had the potential to undermine economic confidence in Ukraine.

If the budget was not passed by the new year every day that passed Ukraine would have suffered. No capital works programmes could continue and private contractors would be unsure, as to when or if, they would get paid. Ukraine would have come to a complete standstill. Public servants would continue to be paid as recurrent funding under the terms of the then existing budget coudl continue but no new expenditure or capital works could be authorised.

For a while there it looked like the President was going to manufacture another constitutional crises, one that could result in the elected parliament being prematurely dismissed and forced back to the polls less then six months after iots formation.

Had this stand-off been allowed to developed and the parliament dismissed as a result Ukraine would have potential slide into political meltdown, economically and socially.

Thankfully the drought broke and the Government agreed to some minor amendments and the presidnet agreed to the passing of the budget.

Yulia Tymoshenko opposition bloc sided with the President's our Ukraine party preventing the possibility of obtaining a 2/3rd statutory majority required to override the President right of veto.

The threat of blocking supply by the President was reckless and irresponsible.

Ukraine's Business community were not impressed and there was growing pressure from the business community and within Our Ukraine itself to see this matter resolved sooner rather then later. Political power games of this sort served no one interest.

Thankfully the drought broke and the Government agreed to some minor amendments and the president agreed to the passing of the budget.

Rule of Law adopted

The government and the parliament, concerned about the growing conflict and lack of rules and laws governing the relationships between it's democratic institutions has embarked on considering and adopting a serious of regulatory laws to address the current situation. One such law being the law on the Cabinet of Minsters which was designed to regulate and govern the executive government and its relationship with the parliament and president.

The proposed laws seek to install the rule of law as opposed to presidential decree and lack of established convention. The Law on cabinet of Minsters provides the necessary check and balances that are commonly in place in most western parliamentary democracies. The proposed law was not perfect but it did meet acceptable standards and was reviewed by the Venice Commission in October last year. Some of the Venice commission's comments and recommendations have been adopted in the latest draft law.

The government has also recently indicated that they are prepared to consider further amendments based on comments make by the president but they wanted to see the law as it stood in place as soon as possible.

The Law on the Cabinet of Ministers is one of a series of laws that seeks to regulate government and codify protocols. Other such laws that are under consideration include the Law on the Opposition, its rights and obligation. The law on the Office of the President, which has yet to be fully debated. and the Law of Imperatives which is controversial and currently under consideration.

An indication of support for the passing of these awls has been given by Yulia Tymoshenko's bloc which if her promise of support holds will see any attempt by the president to veto the laws overridden.

The president considers the Law on the Cabinet of Minsters to be unconstitutional and has indicated that he will exercise his right to have the new law referred to the constructional court of consideration and review.

Ukraine's constitutional court a house of review.

The constitutional court has not yet met or considered any issues of significance since its formation late last year.

There are a number of issues of importance currently before the Ukraine's Constitutional Court including a motion by Yulia Tymoshenko to seek to overturn the 2006 constitutional amendments and Ukraine's transition from a Presidential dictatorship to a Parliamentary democracy.

Yulia's proposal is seen as an attempt to have a second bite of the cherry and if the court rules in her favour the parliament would face re-election.

If only it was as simple as that. Her motion before the courts could very well open a Pandora's box and not deliver the result Yulia hopes to achieve.

Seeking reform of the current constitution is seen as the more preferable way forward and less divisive. It is understood that the President is of this opinion also but he has not made his position clear and their does not yet seem to be any common consensus emerging.

Many political watches are waiting eagerly to see which way and how the constitutional court will rule.

Foreign Minister falls on his sword.

Borys Tarasyuck lost on appeal his challenge against his sacking and the same day that the parliament promulgated the law on the Cabinet and Ministers the president met with the ill fated Minister and advised him that his position was untenable and that he had to resign. the Minister faced with the inevitability and the growing amount of concern over Ukraine's Foreign relationship the Minster tendered his resignation putting an end to another chapter of conflict and division between Ukraine's government and it's Head of State.

Parliament versus President

Whilst Viktor Yuschenko and Our Ukraine supporters advocate a return to Presidential rule one might begin to wonder why, given he claims to be pro-west which by implication assumes falsely that his opponents are not pro-west, the west has not spoken out more to support him. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Europe does not support or like Presidential systems. A quick look at the EU political map shows you that all but one, Greek Cyprus, are Parliamentary democracies not Presidential dictatorships. Parliamentary democracy is strong in the EU and of course EU members of parliament are not going to come out and support Yuschenko or Our Ukraine's bid to instill Presidential power. Ukraine has just began its transition towards a democratic Parliamentary system and every one agreed that the March 2006 parliamentary election were open and fair. To openly take sides on this issue would put EU countries at odds with their own philosophy. Ukraine is just going to have to work this one through. The only country in the EU that maintains a resemblance of a parliamentary-presidential system if France and eve then the President has a guideing father elder statesman like role. France is also facing fresh Presidential election soon and many are asking questions as to the role of the President as a change in power is on the horizon.


The European Union itself, membership to which Ukraine including Our Ukraine aspire, is governed not by a President but by Parliamentary rule.

It would be difficualt if not out right impossible for European Western countries to be advocating support for one political party over another let alone supporting power to be handed back to the President. To do so would undermine the European Union itself.

The only suport and argment for a Presidential system is coming from the United States and they are not apart of the European Union and Ukraine has not yet proposed becomming the 52nd State.

Democratic Parliamentary system provide more checks and balances then teh former presidentiaol rule. The executive minsiterial governement is accounatble first and foremost to the elected Parlaimentary representative. They are limited and governed by the terms of the constituion and rule of law.TheParliament provides a daily wtaching brief and monitoring of the governement. The President as head of state also acts as a watchdog with significant right of veto powers. Like that of the executive gvedrnment the President should excersise his authority to override Parliament sparingly and inaccordance with the limitations and authority of guiding law and regulations. Any abuse of that authority undermines the Office of the President bring both the Office and the Country into disreput. Under Ukraine's consitution Paraliament has the right with a 2/3rds staturtory majority vote can override the President's right of veto.

This is a very powerful check and balance and one that is in the President's favour. Obtaining 2/3rds majporty of a proportional representatoive body is very difficault indeed. A 2/3rds majority of Ukraine's Parliament also has the authority to amend Ukraines constitution.

Under the former Presidential system their was no day to day checks and balances in the executive government which was appointed solely by the President. Parliament has now move from being a reavctive to proactive body where responsibility for governance is in the hands of the legislators.

Changing Constitutions

Ukraine is a new democracy it had only recently adopted a democratic parliamentary system. All of the former eastern European countries that are now members of the European Union and have been under parliamentary system for some years. Countries such as cri-Croatia have also just made the transition from a presidential decree to a system of parliamentary democracy.

The current Presidential-Parliamentary system is not working, there are too many grey areas in Ukraine's legal structure and there is a clear need for review.

Yulia Tymoshenko's challenge against the 2006 constitutional reform will, if successful, throw Ukraine into serious political turmoil a could set back democratic reform for many years to come.

The first question Ukraine needs to decide is what type of system will it adopt.
Will it fall in line with most other European countries and adopt a full parliamentary system or will it revert back to a system of presidential decree.

If commonsense prevails Ukraine will opt for a true parliamentary system and all parties will work to ensure its success.

Under the current constitutional provision 2/3rds of the elected parliament can approve changes to Ukraine's constitution. The constitution can also be amended by referendum but as recent experience shows in France it would be almost if not absolutely impossible to secure agreement for consitutional change without substantial support from the majority of political parties. Without a broad consensus any public referendum would face defeat.

So Ukraine faces a tough period of negotiation in seeking meaningful and constitutional reform. Given the extent of bitterness and acromania relationships between the various political groups it is hard to see any real effective and worthwhile compromise let alone agreement on the type of political system Ukraine should adopt. all parties just come together and find a common direction unless they can nothing will be resolved.

Ukraine is expected to hold its next round of elections in 2009 when the Office of the President becomes vacant.

Based on the current standing in public opinion polls Viktor Yushchenko is unlikely to be re-elected to a second term of office.

Faced with this reality and the prospect of losing control of the presidency Our Ukraine might opt to support a full parliamentary model with an agreement that with the adoption of a new constitution both the Head of State and the parliament would face re-election together.

A similar proposal for concurrent elections is underway in Georgia and if adopted in Ukraine could be the ice breaker and the beginning of a new realignment. But that is hopeful thinking.


The need for further electoral reform

In addition to constitutional reform the other issue Ukraine needs to consider further is electoral reform.

22% of Ukrainians,who supported political parties that failed to secure the 3% threshold, were effectively disenfranchised during the March 206 Parliamentary elections they were denied a say in who will represent them and as such who has the right to govern Ukraine. .

Preferential voting

If Ukraine adopted a system of preferential voting where voters had the right to indicate, in order of preference, which party they support those that voted for minor parties that fail to obtain the required threshold quota could have their vote recounted to determine who their vote should be allocated to. The adoption of a preferential voting system would allow supporters of minor parties to be taken into consideration and not discarded.

Presidential Elections

The adoption of a preferential ballot would also save hundreds of millions of dollars and avoid the need for multiple presidential ballots. Only one ballot is required. Voters indicate in order of preference (1,2,3 etc) their candidates of choice. If no single candidate has 50% or more votes then the candidate with the lowest vote is excluded and their votes redistributed according to the voters nominated preference. This process continues until one candidate has 50% or more votes.

The result of the election is similar to the two-round system but only requires one ballot. A direct saving in costs and a further saving in indirect costs arising from any political uncertainly that may occur between the two ballots.


Establishment of regional electorates.

Another option that is worthy of consideration is the creation of a number of local regional electorates. Each electorate returning nine or more members of parliament based on a proportional representation election. Each electorate would be equal in number within a 5-10% variance and the boundaries determined by a independent judicial committee. Results of an electorate that returns nine members of parliament would be determined on a 10% quota thus avoiding the need for an minimum artificial quota. the adoption of preferential voting as outline above would ensure that voters were not unfairly disenfranchised.

The establishment of local representation would focus community attention on the candidates and allow for more effective local campaigning and representation. Detailed analysis of the March parliamentary elections results would provide a clear indication of the likely outcome of localised electorate model. certain assumptions will need to be made as to the likely preferential distribution of minor parties candidates.



Future Politics

The future of Ukraine does not lie with this parliament but the parliaments that will follow.

The generation that will follow the current generation is very impressive indeed they will certainly change the outlook of Ukraine when they are in power. Already the younger generation think different to the older generation, their aspirations and awareness of alternatives is considerable. they are the ones that will make the most change.

It is important that this generation and the current parliament puts aside power games and begin to lays down the foundations stone and building blocks for the next generation, a design based on a true democratic representative model. Any consideration of revised political system must not be based on desired or expected outcomes for any one individual or political party but based on sound, fair and democratic principles.




Yanukovych: It is necessary to improve Constitution
The Prime Minister of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych stresses that it is necessary to improve the regulations of the Constitution. The PM stated while addressing intelligentsia of Lviv region, "Cabinet press office" informed.

"We consider that improvement of the present Constitution is a process we'll pass within the next few years", Viktor Yanukovych said. According to the Prime Minister, it is difficult today to appraise those mistakes which, probably, have been made while amending the Constitution within the framework of the political reform.

During the meeting the Head of Government noted that executive system which had been formed after carrying out the political reform is the most efficient inasmuch as gives an opportunity the Government and Parliament to cooperate, work out national programs and adopt necessary laws.

Viktor Yanukovych stressed that President fills an appropriate place in this system. "This system of public administration is the most efficient and the world experience proves it. The stability of this system has been confirmed more than once", the Head of Government




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