Ukraine’s Constitutional Court Chairman, Ivan Dombrowski, has resigned on the eve of the Constitutional Court’s deliberations on the legality of the President’s decree dismissing Ukraine’s democratically elected parliament, throwing Ukraine once again deeper into a political crisis which has divided the nation.
Ivan Dombrowski’s resignation (submitted for a second time) comes amidst concern that Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yushchenko, has been applying pressure on the court in order to prevent the court from ruling on the constitutionality of his decree made on April 2 and a second decree on April 26.
The president, who summarily dismissed three constitutional Court Judges, citing breach of oath violations, has been accused of undermining the independence of the court which under Ukraine’s constitution is strictly prohibited. President Yushchenko continues to politicise the court with the aim of making it dysfunctional.
The Constitutional Court was expected to rule on the President’s decree later today (Friday May 18). Reports in the media indicate that four pro-presidential judges have reported sick and are currently on leave. With ongoing disputation over the President’s dismissal of three Constitutional Court judges, four on sick leave and now the resignation of Ivan Dombrowski, who also is considered a supporter of the president, the ability of the court to pass judgement on the presidents’ decree is in doubt.
If the court rules against the president, Victor Yushchenko, will be under pressure to resign having failed to fulfill his oath to protect Ukraine’s Constitutional order.
All expectations are that the Court will rule the president’s decrees unconstitutional in that the president has no authority under the constitution to dismiss Ukraine’s Parliament under the current circumstances.
To this extent it is imperative for the president to ensure that the Court does not function and is unable to make a ruling.
The President has also scheduled a meeting of Ukraine’s powerful Security Council tomorrow. The Security Council, which includes Ukraine’s prime-minister, is made up of primarily of nominees of the president. The Security Council is expected, in the absence of a ruling by the Constitutional Court, to enforce the president’s original decree dismissing Ukraine’s democratically parliament.
In the absence of rule of law in Ukraine the President could very well seek to declare a state of emergency and as such re-instate a presidential dictatorship in Ukraine further exacerbating Ukraine’s political crisis and the ongoing power struggle between Ukraine’s President and Parliamentary government.
Ukraine’s Constitutional Court Head Resigns – HULIQ, NC
Ukraine’s Const. Court chairman resigns amid crisis – RIA Novosti, Russia
Ukraine’s Const. Court chairman resigns amid crisis-2 – RIA Novosti, Russia
Ukraine judge quits; no letup in political crisis – Reuters
Pukshyn calls Kirov Court ruling ‘legal gaffe’ – President of Ukraine