PACE: Ukrainian president had not enough legal grounds to dissolve the parliament

Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE) monitoring committee co-reporter Renate Wohlwend believes that the Ukrainian president had not enough legal grounds to dissolve the parliament

Source: RegNum Also Ukrayinska Pravda

The announcement by PACE is a serious blow to Yulia Tymoshenko and the President’s campaign for fresh Parliamentary elections. PACE had no alternative but to express its concerns over the constitutionality of the President’s decree dismissing Ukraine’s democratically elected Parliament. The dismissal of a Parliament by a head of state sets a very dangerous precedence that effects not just Ukraine but also Western democracy. Most Western parliamentary democracies have very strict limitations on the right of a head of state to dismiss a parliament.

Yulia Tymoshenko had hoped that Europe would back the oppositions call for fresh elections. It has not.

PACE has made the correct call. The actions of the President is a last gasp of a failed Presidency. The consequences of his actions seriously undermines Ukraine’s democratic development and rule of law.

Media reports over the weekend have indicated that the President had met (in secrete) with members of the Constitutional Court on Friday in an attempt to influence the determination of the Court. Yushchenko wants the Court to defer its consideration and determination no the governments appeal. The President is of the false belief that if the Court delays its decision long enough the elections process will be secured and the President if need be will declare a state of emergency if protests continue.

There are also reports that the President is ordering the Military to take control of the Parliament should the conflict continue and elections are not held.

The Constitutional Court must not bow to pressure from the Office of the President. It must rule on the validity of the President’s actions according to rule of law. Any different or delay in it’s decision would results in ongoing conflict and division.

– Extract Copy of News aralce published on RegNum

The main cause of the presidential decision [to dissolve the parliament] was his attempt to cease MPs changing their factions. I am afraid, legally, it is not enough to dissolve the parliament,” Renate Wohlwend said. The PACE co-reporter expressed hope that Ukraine’s Constitutional Court would speed up its consideration of the question whether Yushchenko’s decree was constitutional. “I am afraid, if it takes months for the Constitutional Court to rule whether the president was right or wrong, clashes in the streets can start between those, who support the opposition, and those, who support Yanukovich,” Renate Wohlwend believes.

According to her, early elections will not help in settling the problem. “If the Constitutional Court decides to support the elections, they must be conducted. After the elections, Ukraine will be brought back to 2-3 years backwards in development of its democratic institutions and establishment of the rule of law,” Ms. Wohlwend said. “If the decree is pronounced unconstitutional, President Yushchenko will have to resign,” the PACE co-reporter believes.

On April 2, the power crisis in Ukraine developed into a new stage. President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree to dissolve the Supreme Rada and appointed a date for the early elections, May 27. The parliament and the government agreed to obey the decree, only if the Constitutional Court decides the decree does not breach the constitution. On April 5, Ukraine’s Constitutional Court confirmed that it opened the case on determining whether President Viktor Yushchenko’s decree to dissolve the Supreme Rada was constitutional and pronounced the case urgent.

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