Words of sincerity or expression of convenience
I, Viktor Yushchenko, elected by the will of the people as the President of Ukraine, assuming this high office, do solemnly swear allegiance to Ukraine. I pledge with all my undertakings to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to provide for the good of the Motherland and the welfare of the Ukrainian people, to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, to abide by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, to exercise my duties in the interests of all compatriots, and to enhance the prestige of Ukraine in the world.”
Ukraine’s President, Viktor Yuchenko, having previously indicated that he would uphold the determination of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court — faced with prospect that Ukraine’s Constitutional Court will rule against him by declaring his presidential decrees dismissing Ukraine’s democratically elected parliament unconstitutional — is now engaged in a campaign designed to undermine Ukraine’s Constitution.
The president today has indicated that he will ignore the decision of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court.
If the Court, as expected , rules that the president’s decree was unconstitutional the president will be under pressure to resign.
Viktor Yushchenko has gone to extraordinary efforts to prevent the Court from making a determination. The president, having been informed that the Court was most likely to rule against him, issued decrees dismissing three of the Constitutional Court Judges. The President was hoping that the Court would find itself in a stalemate position, where it would be unable to bring down a ruling on the government’s appeal against his earlier decrees, and in doing so would by default leave his original decrees unchallenged.
The president’s dismissal of Constitutional Court judges was yesterday overturned by a local court and the judges having been reinstated took up office in Court. The reinstatement of the three Judges has once again given cause for concern by the president.
The Court was expected to announce its decision today (Friday May 18) but failed to do so. The head of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court, Ivan Dombrovskyy, tendered his resignation and four of the judges loyal to the president called in sick today.
Yesterday the Court appointed Valeriy Pshenichny, one of the Judges whom Yushchenko had fired earlier this month, as acting head of the Court.
The legality of the president’s decrees dismissing Ukraine’s Parliament are back on the agenda with all expectations that the Constitutional Court will proceed to rule against the President.
Once the Constitutional Court rules its decision is binding on all parties. There is no right of appeal.
Rather then wait for the ruling of the Court the Office of the president, having previously indicated that he would abide by the Court’s rulings, today indicated that the president will now ignore the court. If this is the case the president will be entering into unknown and dangerous territory.
Viktor Yushchenko faces the serious risk of instigating anarchy and constitutional disorder in direct breach of his solemn oath he gave in taking up the office of President and becoming Ukraine’s head of State.
The statement made by the Office of the President is tantamount to treason and grounds for impeachment.
The president will face two options: He will either have to resign and seek re-election appealing to the Court of public opinion or he will try and instigate a unconstitutional coup and declare a state of emergency and the restoration of a presidential dictatorship.
Update: There is some decree of ambiguity as to whether the president has in fact advocated such or if it was the actions of an overzealous irresponsible senior member of staff of the office of the president. In any event the president must act to uphold his oath and to protect the reputation of the office of the president.
The statement attributed to the office of the president is tantamount to treason. Viktor Yushchenko must either resign and face review of his actions in the court of public opinion, distance himself from the statements made and dismiss the staff member responsible.