Ukraine’s Constitutional Court has deferred until April 17 consideration of the governments appeal against Ukraine’s President, Viktor Yushchenko’s decree to dismiss Ukraine’s Parliament.
Five judges of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court, all aligned with the President, have refused to consider the issue. Several judges also asked the state to provide them with bodyguards, and indirectly blamed Yushchenko for the pressure campaign (Jurists – Paperchase).
There are currently eighteen members of the Constitutional Court, six appointed by the President, six appointed by the Parliament and an additional six appointed by the judiciary. The Court requires a majority vote (10) of the judges to hear the case.
Any delay in the hearing of the case further exacerbates Ukraine’s political crisis which threatens to divide Ukraine. the delay plays into the hands of the President who can not afford to have the court make a negative ruling against his decree. the longer the case is not heard the better the chances are of the president to bed down expectations that Ukraine will go back to the polls and re-elect a new parliament.
If the Constitutional Court was to rule that the President’s decree was unconstitutional the President would be placed in an situation, having brought the country to the brink of civil war, with the Office of the President brought into international disrepute the President would have no alternative but to resign. A point that was highlighted in a statement publihsed on April 9 by Renate Wohlwend, PACE spokesperson.
The media had also reported on the weekend that Victor Yushchenko had met with members of the Constitutional Court on Friday to discuss the current crisis.
Debate amongst Ukraine’s academics legal elites, indicate that the President has acted unconstitutional and that if the Court considers the issue on the basis of law they will have no alternative but to rule against the President. Commentators are also reporting that the Court is also leaning in that direction. If this is the case then Viktor Yushchenko best and only chance is to try, by what ever means possible, to avoid or delay the court considering the issue.
While the world waits for the decision of Ukraine’s Court the crisis continues with public protests focused on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
Public opinion at present is against the presidents resolve. As time moves on most Ukrainians will want a quick resolution and end to the current political crisis. Resolution of the crisis might be seen to come in the form of fresh-elections, but it is still too early to ascertain if it will resolve the conflict or only fuel the flames.
The odds are that the President might find he and his party will lose out as the people choose to voice their concern and opposition to the President’s actions and vote against his Party ‘Our Ukraine’.
Which ever way you look at it the President is under enormous pressure legally, politically and morally. he has left himself no alternative but to either slug it out or fold and collapse. What he has managed to achieve is a country that is more deeply divide then ever before.