Saturday, September 29, 2007

Instant Run-off - Preferential voting made easy.

Ukraine needs to look beyond the USA for its guidence in electoral reform.

Instant Run-off Preferential voting means voters have a real choice. One ballot less costs 100's of Millions of dollars of public funding saved. Democracy as simple as 1,2,3,4







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The outcome of Sunday's poll - Party of Regions fortune will depend on the performance of minor parties

It is minor parties that will determine the outcome of the poll and who will form government if the new parliament is able to function.

Without the success of minor parties, vsuch as Lytyn, Communist Patry of Ukraine and the Socialists Party of Ukraine all who are supportive of the government then Party of Regions chances of retaining office are limited to legal challenges. Given the extent of interference in the legal process by Ukraine's president "democratic rule of law" in Ukraine has been pushed aside, with suggestions that the Ukraine's President will once again sooner after the poll act to prevent the courts from considering any challenge.

Ukraine's voting system and the 3% threshold barrier could see Yulia Tymoshchenko (25%), win by default, with support from Our Ukraine (12%) out-poll Party of Regions (33-34%)

Public opinion polling prior to the election had shown Lytvyn,. Former Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament under President Kuchma hold the balance of power.

The Socialist party has been the main point of attack by the opposition parties have targeted the Socialist vote which is strongest around the Poltava region. The Socialist movement in Ukraine is bitterly divided with various flavours (Including Yulia Tymoshenko) claiming to be socialist parties.

The other issue weighing against the Party of Regions is Party KUCHMA" a groups who has registered themselves under the name of Party of Regions and former Ukraine's president, Leonard Kuchma. Every vote for party KUCHMA is one less vote for the government.

Similarly is a party who head the ballot list, Communist Party of Ukraine (Revised) This party is designed to create confusion in the voting list in order to reduce the voter support offered to the Communist Party of Ukraine who are governing coalition members.

The Polls are predicting a high participation of 80% which is surprising considering the level of voter disillusionment and loss of confidence in the political process in Ukraine. A loss of confidence could work in the oppositions favour.

The government failed to capitalise in the campaign on the attack on Ukraine's parliamentary democracy and avoided criticism of the president's anti-democratic unconstitutional decree dismissing Ukraine's previous parliament and as such the false claim by the President and opposition forces that they are the only "democratic" political parties standing for office. The policies of Our Ukraine and Yulia Tymoshenko bloc are most certainly not democratic and not supportive of European Standards.

It is labels and branding like "Democratic" pro west" that can persuade undecided voters and most certainly the western media who are looking for simple catch phrases to fill in their 1 minute grabs on Ukraine.

The government should have tackled these issues head-on but instead opted to avoid these issues in fear that they would draw attention of the focus points of the opposition campaign, but in doing so they also killed off opportunity for their coalition partners

Participation Rate

A 2.5% rating in the polls divided by a 80% participation rate translates into 3.1% of the vote. So a low participation rate is to the minor players advantage.

The Socialist Party

The Socialist party should not be ruled our but all indications are that they will fall below the 3% barrier and as such it becomes a self full-filling prophecy. To a large extent the media in and outside Ukraine have written the Socialist Party of Ukraine off and as a result their voice was overshadowed by the opposition and Party of Regions. But the Socialist party's support is not that simple and not as populist orientated as the other players some of the previous polls had placed them above the 3% mark but it will be an uphill struggle.

Lytvn Party

The Lytvn Party is the main benefactor in the minor party race. Lytvn fell short of winning represe3ntation in the 2006 parliamentary election and all indications is that he may very well succeed in obtaining 4% of the vote. Much of his success will depend on the voter turnout and participation rate.

Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

The other party that might succeed is Natalyia Vitrenko and the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

The Vitrenko juggernaut whilst showing a presence was hardly seen during this campaign. Unlike in 2006 NATO did not rise to the forefront in the political debate and unlike 2006 Natalyia Vitrenko was not afforded every opportunity to be seen to be tackling the issues head on allowing economy and fortune to rule the agenda

Yulia Tymoshenko

Overall Tymoshenko, although not very truthful and decisive, had run the better of the campaigns. She tapped into the psychic of Ukraine and even tried the Joan of Arch approach by claiming she was the white maiden coming to save Ukraine.

Yulia had out-spent all other parties and came close to matching Party of Regions in their campaign costs estimated to have spent around 2-300 million dollars in the process.

Yulia's campaign has been focused and targeted. She started off attacking her coalition partners in order to ensure that she would receive the highest support and as such the right to become prime-minister if the opposition orange coalition win a majority of seats.

All indications is that she has succeeded to out poll her coalition partner Our Ukraine.

Our Ukraine

Our Ukraine's campaign had not tapped into the hearts and minds of Ukraine. Their campaign was reliant mainly on the presence of Victor Yushchenko who constantly campaigned for the opposition from the umpires seat. The problem they face was that the president's campaign was a blunt sword in that it advocated support for the broader opposition coalition.

The much trumpeted merger (It was in reality a takeover) with the newly created People's Self Defence Party has failed to attract popular support. All indications and polls are showing Our Ukraine will at best retain their 14% support shown in the 2006 election or may even lose out with a shift in support going to the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc.


The election by no means is a forgone conclusion but with up to 25% of voters supporting minor parties or "none of the above" the level of support of minor parties is crucial in the determining the final outcome.

Should the opposition not rise to power pressure will be on the president to resign as many Ukrainians still believe that the election was uncalled for and unconstitutional and will most certainly not resolve Ukraine's political tension and division.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ukraine elections: fresh start or back to square one?

Ukraine is preparing to go to the polls for the fourth time in three years. Independence Square is adorned with multi-coloured flags once again. Will the early election mark a fresh start for the country or is it just another opportunity for yet another political battle? In this documentary you have got a chance to get ready for the election along with the Ukrainians.

Watch this story
Video

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Here We Go Again.. AN ISSUE-FREE CAMPAIGN

"Whatever happens on 30 September will not resolve the ongoing struggle for power between the Party of Regions and Yushchenko. A "grand coalition" between these two antagonists looks likely to be short-lived and the same goes for a Tymoshenko government. One result looks certain: people will soon start talking about yet another election."

Source: TOL

by Ivan Lozowy
26 September 2007

Ukraine's political problems run deeper than another set of elections can possibly fix.

Also see: ELECTORAL TIMELINE

KYIV, Ukraine Ukraine is in the final stretch of yet another election campaign notable for the lack of substantive debate on political challenges and marred by the deep-seated personal animosities that have dominated Ukrainian politics since the Orange Revolution three years ago.

The 30 September vote is being presented to the public as the solution to the ongoing political crisis brought about by feuding between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. This expectation is bound to be disappointed.

Circling the two antagonists is Yulia Tymoshenko, the firebrand opposition politician who hopes for another chance to sit in the prime minister's seat.

AN ISSUE-FREE CAMPAIGN

President Yushchenko
The root cause of the friction between the president and the prime minister is a struggle for power and authority in Ukraine's political system. During this election campaign the political struggles have been conducted almost entirely on a personal level. The platforms of the three main competing blocs hardly get a mention in the media. Attention is focused intensely on one question: who will form a post-election government coalition?

Political sources indicate that the presidential secretariat began preparing for new elections at least as far back as January this year, when a tight circle of consultants gathered to discuss the feasibility of dissolving parliament. But it took three presidential decrees and an eventual political compromise in May to set a firm election date.

Twenty parties and coalitions have registered their candidates' lists with the Central Election Commission. These include the usual smattering of temporary, minor business alliances, as well as a "Kuchma Bloc." In an indication of how low expectations have sunk in the wake of a Orange Revolution run aground, a Kyiv graffito urges former President Leonid Kuchma, "Danylich – Come Back!"

Two established parties are unlikely to do well in the voting. The Socialists may not even top the 3-percent cutoff to enter parliament, and the Communists, currently rejoicing at the woes of their former adherent, now Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz, may not do much better.

The real battle will take place between the Party of Regions, headed by Yanukovych, the Our Ukraine – National Self-Defense coalition supported by Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko's eponymous bloc.

CONFIDENT REGIONS, LACKLUSTER YUSHCHENKO

The Party of Regions is feeling confident, and for good reason. They are polling at 36–38 percent, a marked improvement over their 32 percent result in the 2006 election. The party is pushing its main theme of dependability in the retro style of the former "red" directors from the Soviet period who are key supporters.

The party's campaign chief, Boris Kolesnikov, has said that Regions would seek a national referendum on Ukraine's possible entry into NATO and on elevating Russian to a state language, on a par with Ukrainian. These initiatives are aimed against the pro-Western Yushchenko and designed to consolidate support from Ukraine's eastern, Russian-speaking regions.

Prime Minister Yanukovych
Yanukovych's personal slogan – "What Yanukovych says, he does" – harks back to Kuchma's main theme in his race for the presidency in 1994, when serving President Leonid Kravchuk was lampooned as "all words," while Kuchma was the "man of action."

As in the Kuchma-Kravchuk race, which Kuchma unexpectedly won, Yanukovych is playing on voters' disenchantment with the serving president. In 2004, just before the Orange Revolution, Yushchenko ran for the office proclaiming "Not with words, but with action." But two years of Yushchenko's presidency and his passivity, detachment, and inefficacy have turned away voters.

Yushchenko's supporters have gathered in a coalition which largely repeats the format in which they ran in March 2006. Now, however, their bloc is dominated by Yuriy Lutsenko, Number 1 on the bloc electoral list and a politician who has built his political career largely on his animosity, amply returned, towards the Party of Regions.

Lutsenko's anti-Regions strategy has allowed him to fill a political niche thus far dominated by Tymoshenko. However, his personal poll ratings, currently hovering at 6–8 percent, may not be enough to lift the Our Ukraine coalition much higher than their dismal result of 14 percent last year. Nor has the way he meekly entered Yanukovych's government just weeks after publicly declaring he would never do so boosted his reputation as scourge of the Party of Regions.

TYMOSHENKO – ETERNAL OPPOSITIONIST?

Tymoshenko, however, remains Ukraine's premier opposition politician.

Yulia Tymoshenko greeting her supporters at an election rally.


In March 2006 the Tymoshenko Bloc won 22 percent of the vote and this time around her results are likely to improve slightly, but based on the numbers of people who dislike her hard-headed style – her negative ratings have consistently been the highest among Ukraine's national politicians – Tymoshenko may have reached the upper limit of supporters she can win over.

Tymoshenko's message is simple: give me another shot at running the country from the prime minister's office. The problem with this scenario, however, is that most people were not very impressed with her first time around, when a meat crisis was followed by a gasoline crisis and privatized enterprises were slated for nationalization.

Tymoshenko's main problem, however, is not so much the election as the intentions of Yushchenko and his closest allies. The role that will be played in post-election coalition talks by Viktor Baloha, the powerful head of the presidential secretariat, will be crucial. Rumors abound that Baloha himself is interested in the post of prime minister. Though such an eventuality is somewhat far-fetched, Baloha will be very reluctant to see in the job given her track record as a solo rather than team player.

READING TEA LEAVES

Some analysts are whispering about the possibility of a worst-case scenario – the Party of Regions garnering more than half the seats in parliament together with the communists, allowing them to form a government on their own. The two parties have worked as solid coalition partners in the Yanukovych-led government.

Others mutter that fraud may cloud the outcome of the voting. The Committee of Voters of Ukraine, a non-partisan, Western-funded monitoring group, has issued regular reports listing its concerns about such issues as the use of central government resources to influence voting, irregularities in voter registration lists, and inadequate regulation of home voting for disabled people.

Following the March 2006 elections, independent journalists uncovered evidence of serious and massive voting falsifications in the Donetsk region, the home base of the Party of Regions.

Over the past decade, local election commissions have become adept at election fraud. Since election commission members are dominated by representatives of local government, manipulation of voting results is commonplace.

Whatever happens on 30 September will not resolve the ongoing struggle for power between the Party of Regions and Yushchenko. A "grand coalition" between these two antagonists looks likely to be short-lived and the same goes for a Tymoshenko government. One result looks certain: people will soon start talking about yet another election.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Our Ukraine's Undemocratic reform proposals under review

Our Ukraine recently advocated electoral reform and the adoption of a single member majority voting system similar to the outdated voting systems used in Britain, Canada and the USA

Whilst the creation of smaller local electorates is worthy of consideration the proposed "Majority voting" system is undemocratic and should be rejected outright.

It is a system designed when voters could not read or write a system that is outdated.




Preliminary analysis of the 2006 Parliamentary electoral districts results indicates that up to 53% of the electorate will be disenfranchised under the Majority voting system - denied the right of direct representation.

In a false and misleading attempt to make the system appear to be more democratic Our Ukraine have in haste proposed a two round voting system so that if no one single candidate has 50% or more votes a second round ballot would be undertaken.

Analysis has shown that only 28% of electorates would be decided on the first round and the remaining 72% would need to face a second round of voting doubling the costs of holding election.

Even under a two round system the number of citizens disenfranchised will remain above 40%.

The two-round majority-voting system has another serious design flaw. What happens in cases when the electorate is evenly divided and there is no clear two leaders on could have 44% of the vote one 15.6% another 15.5% and the remaining 24.9% split between various candidates? What logic dictates who should face the second ballot.

Alternative Options

The most simple alternative option would be to introduce a system of preferential voting one round one vote same outcome as a would be the case in a two round ballot. Voters indicate in order of preference their choice of candidates (1,2,3 etc) if no single candidate has a majority of 50% or more votes the candidates with the lowest violets are eliminated and redistributed according to the voters express preference. This process is repeated until a candidate has 50% or more votes. the system requires one-ballot only saving vast limited public resources and allowing for the results of the election to be determined in a shorter period of time. The direct and indirect benefits are significant.

Even with singe member preferential voting system more then 50% of citizens would go unrepresented by someone of their first choice.

Preferred Alternative

There is no question that the national party list system as inherent design faults which leaves the people removed from the process directly electing their chosen representatives.

The creation of local electorates has the advantage of ensuring that members of parliament are directly elected and as a result accountable to the electorate.

The main problem with the proposal put forward by Our Ukraine is in the electoral system proposed. Not only is it administrative cumbersome but it is also undemocratic for the reasons outlined above.

A preferred option would be to take a middle ground approach, one that incorporates the benefits of bath's systems and in the process provides a more accountable and democratic electoral system.

The preffered proposal would be to establish a number of smaller local electorates with each electorate returning nine members of parliament elected by a system of preferential proportional representation on a 10% quota. This system would ensure a more fairer and democratic representative model with up to 95% of citizens represented by someone of their choosing. The 10% quota required to win a seat in the parliament would ensure that the system remains workable whilst facilitating for democratic representation.

The over all number of electorates would be decided by by the total number of members of to be elected to the parliament divided by nine. (360 could be a good size with the creation of 40 electorates similar in size of population.)

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Ukraine's Election Under Review

Party of Regions warns President of discord

The Party of Regions (PRU) announces about its intention to withdraw from the early election campaign in the event if its opponents do not stop their provocations.
“If our opponents’ cynical provocations entertained to prepare massive polling fraud should not stop, PRU is ready to put its participation in the elections under doubt,” is stated in the party’s message.

“We do not want to be involved in the 2007 election venture predetermined by Bankova Street and then justified in a biased court,” PRU adds.

It is also said in the message that ‘the central PRU campaign headquarters keeps on receiving alarming reports on provocations prepared against the party’.

PRU members are convinced that their political opponents ‘aware of their future demise at the early elections are seeking ways to deprive PRU of a part of its success’.

“One of these ways is to bloc the work of local election commission by their members from opposition,” claim PRU members.

It is underlined that these maneuvers are of a clear ground. They are aimed to recognize district protocols void so that the district poll results should not be taken in account and long tiresome trials should start.

“It is natural that ‘distress calls’ are received from the oblasts which have had a huge amount of PRU adherents for a long time. They are the Crimea, Zaporizka, Dnipropetrovska, Mykolaivska, Odeska oblasts,” PRU stresses.

PRU protests against using such tactics by PRU opponents and wants to apply to law enforcement agencies so that such activities should be put an end to.

“Every action of any election commission official is to be properly checked and as a result, necessary legal measures are to be taken,” claim PRU.

Source: Ukrayinska Pravda

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Ukraine's Indecisive, Divisive, Illegal and Unconstitutional Election

A recipe for disaster

In one weeks time Ukraine will go to the polls.

Public opinion polls are showing that Ukraine remains bitterly divided as it was back in 2004.

Next weeks election will only further divide Ukraine and add to the loss of confidence in the political process

The results of the election are unknown but what is known is that only the victor will support the outcome and who ever is the loser will reject it. If Yulia Tymoshenko loses the election she will once again claim that the results of the ballot was fraudulent. If she wins her opposition will claim likewise.

Earlier in the week the Government had cause to seriously question the conduct of the election, the role played by Ukraine's President and the ongoing question and doubt of the legality of the president's actions.

The ngovernment has made allegations levelled at the president's secretariat of not respecting the oath of office and becoming embroiled in the political campaign. Imagine a situation where the Queen of England, or any other head of state, dismisses the parliament and then actively advocates support for thier chosen party.

In reality the situation is likely to get worst before it gets better.

It is more then likely that Ukraine's next government will not be formed following the election irrespective of who wins next weeks ballot.

What ever the final results of the election are, the outcome, will have a negative impact and Ukraine may very well face a even worst period of dissent and disputation then it has experienced in past elections.

Had the situation in Ukraine occurred in a western democracy the actions of the head of state would have been ruled unconstitutional in that the Constitution does not provide the authority for the president to dismiss the parliament under the current circumstances.

The main cause of dissension and loss of confidence is to be found in the basis of the election and the president's unconstitutional decrees dismissing Ukraine's democratically elected parliament.

Unlike in other circumstances where there are grounds for early elections there is no political division or loss of confidence that has prevented the formation and functioning of government.

The government in Ukraine maintains the support of a majority of the elected representatives as was demonstrated by the fact that 260 out of 450 members parliament attended the recent parliamentary session.

The only cause of disputation is an ongoing power struggle between the office of the president and the parliament. The situation has been made worst by the president's illegal interference in the operation of Ukraine's Constitutional Court which has prevented the Court from ruling on the legality of the president's actions.

The president's decrees and actions are in direct breach of Article 5 of Ukraine's Constitution in that the president has sought to usurp power where he has no authority.

The European Council also must share blame for the loss of confidence and exacerbation of political division in Ukraine.

Whilst the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe back in April 19 this year rightly called on Ukraine to resolve its divisions internally it failed to ensure that actions of the president and the resolution put in place was legal and in compliance with Ukraine's constitution.

PACE has by its silence, effectively endorsed by a lawless state and allowed the current situation where Ukraine is now facing a serious breakdown in the constitutional order and a potential state of political anarchy . If this occurs then it is the executive leadership of PACE that must be held share responsibility and be held accountable for their actions.

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International Observers' Liaison Group Observes the Transparency of the Elections in Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, September 20 /PRNewswire/ -- While the early parliamentary elections in Ukraine are just about to enter the finishing straight, the favourites in the race were already determined some time ago.

All polls reveal that the Party of Regions - the party delivering the foundation of today's ruling coalition - is clearly ahead.

Recent studies indicate that the Party of Regions is on course to repeat last year's success and is likely to even outperform it by winning about 33 to 35% of the votes. The Bloc Yulia Timoshenko (BYT) is lagging more than 10% behind, and the pro-presidential political group "Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense" (OU - PSD), which is headed by the former minister of the interior Yuri Lutsenko, is heading for a safe third place. Most analysts are unanimous that the fourth party to enter parliament will be the Communist Party, which is predicted to receive 3 to 5% of votes. The remaining participants (among them the bloc of former chairman of parliament V. Lytvyn and the Socialist Party of current chairman O. Moroz) are currently ranging in the "danger zone".

Forecasts suggest that the Party of Regions will clearly dominate the elections, thereby gaining the basis to repeatedly participate in the formation of ruling coalitions and that the party's chairman Viktor Yanukovich will continue to serve as the country's prime minister.

Meanwhile, the early elections are being held on an obviously insufficient and at times even frankly questionable legal basis. The underlying resolutions obviously have a political rather than a constitutional character. The elections became possible as a result of a situational compromise reached between the principal political forces, above all between the Coalition of National Unity, on the one hand, and the president and the united opposition, on the other.

It is common knowledge that the resources of the Ukrainian administration are deployed in the electoral race. Against the background of the artificially initiated parliamentary crisis, the Council of National Security and Defence as part of the presidential administration began to high-handedly take over many government functions. Additionally, since May, the president and the people associated with him have actually been blocking the activities of the Constitutional Court that would have been able to act as arbitrator in the complex crisis.

In many regions, the heads of the regional and district administrations were also appointed heads of the electoral committees of the president's bloc, raising justified doubts concerning the legality and transparency of the elections in the regions headed by loyal and dependent followers of the president

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Seven

Seven parties to be represented in new Ukrainian parliament according to All-Ukrainian Sociological poll published September 10, 2007

Source: UkraNews.



Party % vote % seats seats
PoR 26.6% 31.3% 141
BYuT 19.7% 23.2% 104
OU-PSD 18.2% 21.4% 96
CPU 7.3% 8.6% 39
SPU 3.9% 4.6% 21
PSPU 3.2% 3.8% 17
LPB 6.0% 7.1% 32
      sum 84.9% 100.0% 450

The poll represents a percentage breakdown of all votes (Full participation rate 100%) was taken between August 31 and September 7, 2007

No of respondents 2482. Magin for error 2%

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti October-12, 1935 to September 6, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti October-12, 1935 to September 6, 2007

The editors of this site morn the passing of one of the world greatest opera singers.

May his voice continue to echo out in sprite and though his recording made over time.

God bless his family and friends

Pavarotti and Bono


Pavarotti (Solo)


SMS my thoughts are with you this day as always.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Council of Europe sets precedence - effectively endorsing a lawless state

Democracies are based on the rule of law and in the absence of a definitive determination by Ukraine's Constitutional Court, the actions of Ukraine's president will continue to divide Ukraine.

Whilst the Council or Europe understandably has called on Ukraine to resolve the current crisis internally it has seriously erred by not insisting that the Constitutional Court rule on the legality of the president's decrees. It set a dangerous precedence which implies that any government or head of state can ignore the necessity or compliance with international and constitutional law - effectively endorsing a lawless state.

More

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ukraine's Parliament convenes Autumn Session amidst Constitutional Crisis

Ukraine's Parliament today (September 4) convened its Autumn session according to the requirements in Ukraine's constitution (Article 83).

The session was attended by 269 members of parliament.

The Autumn Session of Parliament was held under controversy in the midst of a constitutional crisis and power struggle between the President and Ukraine's democratically elected parliament

An agreement was struck in late May between the The President, the Prime Minster and the Speaker of the Parliament that early parliamentary election could be held subject to the determination of the president complying with Ukraine's' Constitution.

Under Ukraine's Constitution (Article 90)The President of Ukraine may terminate the authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine prior to the expiration of term, if: ..,
(s3) the Parliament fails, within thirty days of a single regular session, to commence its plenary meetings.

In July members of the opposition resigned their parliamentary positions and canceled their respective party lists reducing the member of elected representatives in the parliament to below two-thirds of the total 450 parliamentary seats.

According to Ukraine's constitution (Article 82) The Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine is competent on the condition that no less than two-thirds of its constitutional composition has been elected.

Following the resignation of opposition members it is argued that the parliament is no longer competent and as such the holding of the plenary session on September 4 could not be convened.

The president's earlier decrees seeking to dismiss the parliament has been subject to an appeal in Ukraine's Constitutional Court including the current decree scheduling election for September 30

The basis of the appeals to the constitutional court is that the president has usurped power in that his decrees do not conform to the requirements of Article 90 of the constitution.

The session of parliament held to day holds two points of interest in terms of provisions of constitutional law which is open to augment and interpretation which can only be determined by the Ukraine's Constitution Court which has been muted since the president interference in the operation and composition of the court.

First Question: Can the Parliament convene its parliamentary session given that it does not maintain the requisite number of elected representatives? The parliament could be skating on thin ice and the court could very well rule the session invalid accordingly.

Second Question: Does the president have the authority to dismiss the Parliament. If the September 4 session is considered invalid then the president under Article 90 can within 30 days from today (October 5) terminate the authority of the parliament but not before.

Prior to today the president had no grounds or authority in which he can dismiss the parliament. The government maintains the support and confidence of a majority of elected parliamentary representatives, there is no division and there is no vote of no-confidence which would normal be a pre-condition for a parliaments dismissal.

For the sake of 30 days the president has placed the legality of the September 30 election and undermined confidence in Ukraine's constitutional rule of law having himself breached the provisions of the constitution.

Ukraine's Constitutional Court

The current division questions of legality hinges on the the ability and willingness of Ukraine Constitutional Court to fulfill its duty which following the president's intervene in the operation of the court has failed to rule on the appeals before it.

Back in April this year the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution in which it stated

" The Assembly deplores the fact that the judicial system of Ukraine has been systematically misused by other branches of power and that top officials do not execute the courts’ decisions, which is a sign of erosion of this crucial democratic institution. An independent and impartial judiciary is a precondition for the existence of a democratic society governed by the rule of law. Hence the urgent necessity to carry out comprehensive judicial reform, including through amendments to the constitution. and has not allocated the required funding for these elections”.

The Assembly reiterates that the authority of the sole body responsible for constitutional justice – the Constitutional Court of Ukraine – should be guaranteed and respected.

Any form of pressure on the judges is intolerable and should be investigated and criminally prosecuted. On the other hand, it is regrettable that in the eight months of its new full composition, the Constitutional Court has failed to produce judgments, thus failing to fulfil its constitutional role and to contribute to resolving the crisis in its earlier stages, which undermines the credibility of the court.

There is an urgent need for all pending judgments, and in particular the judgment concerning the constitutionality of the Presidential Decree of 2 April 2007, to be delivered. If delivered, the latter should be accepted as binding by all sides."

The associated explanatory report under the sub-heading of Pressure on the courts expressed concern that

"Several local courts have made decisions to suspend the Presidential Decree only to then withdraw them, allegedly under pressure from the presidential secretariat." (item 67)

In emphasis the report (item 68) stated

"This is a worrying tendency of legal nihilism that should not be tolerated. It is as clear as day that in a state governed by the rule of law judicial mistakes should be corrected through appeal procedures and not through threats or disciplinary sanctions"

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Monday, September 03, 2007

September 4 the beginning or the end of the election

Tomorrow is shaping up to be the next point of contention in the current political crisis and power struggle between Ukraine's President and Ukraine's parliamentary representatives.

September 4 is the date scheduled for the holding of the next regular plenary session of Ukraine's Parliament.

The Speaker of the parliament, Olexandr Moroz, correctly maintains that the president has no Constitutional authority to dismiss the democratically elected parliament and according to the Constitution of Ukraine (
Article 83) the Parliament must convene its regular plenary sessions on the first Tuesday of February and September of each year

Reports in the media indicate that all parties will be represented in tomorrows Parliamentary session

If the parliament is unable to convene its regular session then according to Article 90 of Ukraine constitution the president in 30 days time has the power to terminate the authority of the parliament and call early elections.

If 300 or members of parliament attend tomorrows session the the question of authority and legality of the president's decrees is very much under dispute.

For what appears to be the sake of one month the president has compromised the legitimacy and constitutionality of the elections scheduled for September 30.

Vandalism and Censorship as historical records attacked by supporters of the president.

Meanwhile supporters of the president last Saturday logged having created an account impersonating an existing user logged-on to Wikipedia and proceeded to vandalise the contents of the published article that highlighted the issues surrounding the Constitutional Court challenge which is still pending.
The article has been restored on Wikipedia but now is subject to review to have this information removed from the historical records. The application for deletion is supported by the same group of dissidents associated with the person identified as being responsible for the vandalising Wikipedia database.

Disclaimer: There is no assertion that those responsible for the attack on Wikipedia are directly associated with the president's campaign or any centrally based organisation in Ukraine it is believed that the persons responsible are acting independently.

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Party List finalised for September Poll

Registered party Lists
(in Ballot paper order)

Ballot Order Party (English) Party (Ukrainian) List #
1 Communist Party of Ukraine (renewed) Комуністична партія України (оновлена) 41
2 Party of National Economic Development of Ukraine Партія національно-економічного розвитку України 136
3 Ukrainian People's Bloc "Український Народний Блок" 213
  **Political party "Ukraine Cathedral"     
  **All-Ukrainian Chornobyl People's Party "For the welfare and protection of people"    
4 Party of Regions Партія регіонів 450
5 Party of Free Democrats Партія Вільних Демократів 85
6 Socialist Party of Ukraine Соціалістична партія України 282
7 *Lytvyn's Bloc "Блок Литвина" 260
  **People's Party of Ukraine    
  **Labour Party of Ukraine    
8 Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc "Блок Юлії Тимошенко" 450
  **All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland"    
  **Ukrainian Social Democratic Party    
  **Reforms and Order Party    
9 Electoral bloc of Liudmyla Suprun – Ukrainian Regional Asset Виборчий блок Людмили Супрун – Український регіональний актив (УРА) 387
  **Popular Democratic Party     
  **Democratic Party of Ukraine     
  **Republican Christian Party    
10 Christian's Bloc Блок "Християнський блок" 225
  **Social-Christian Party    
  **All-Ukrainian political party "Ecology and Social Protection"    
11 Peasant's Bloc "Agricultural Ukraine" Селянський Блок "Аграрна Україна" 136
  **Rural Revival Party     
  **People's Party New Ukraine    
12 Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine Прогресивна соціалістична партія України 403
13 Communist Party of Ukraine Комуністична партія України 444
14 Bloc Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc Блок "НАША УКРАЇНА – НАРОДНА САМООБОРОНА" 401
  **People's Union "Our Ukraine"    
  **Forward, Ukraine!    
  **People's Movement of Ukraine    
  **Ukrainian People's Party    
  **Ukrainian Republican Party Assembly    
  **Christian Democratic Union    
  **European Party of Ukraine    
  **Citizen's party "PORA"    
  **Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists    
  **Motherland Defenders Party    
15 *Bloc "All-Ukrainian Community" (104) Блок "Всеукраїнська громада" 104
  **All-Ukrainian Party of Peace and Unity    
  **National-Democratic Association "Ukraine"    
  **Political party "Conscience of Ukraine"    
  **Political party of small and medium-sized businesses of Ukraine    
16 All-Ukrainian Union "Freedom" Всеукраїнське об'єднання "Свобода"  351
17 Party of Greens of Ukraine Партія Зелених України 147
18 Bloc of Party of Pensioners of Ukraine "Блок партії пенсіонерів України" 92
  **Party of Pensioners of Ukraine    
  **Party of Protection of Pensioners of Ukraine    
19 All-Ukrainian Party of People's Trust Всеукраїнська партія Народної Довіри  86
20 *Electoral bloc of political parties "KUCHMA" (168) Виборчий блок політичних партій "КУЧМА" (Конституція – Україна – Честь – Мир – Антифашизм) 168
  **Party "Union"    
  **Political party "All-Ukrainian Union "CENTER""    

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