If ever you need move proof that Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yushchenko, is constitutionally out of control take another look at the recent admission that the president will need to issue a forth decree or is that fifth decree to try and bring his decrees and dismissal of Ukraine’s Parliament in line with Ukraine’s constitution.
The President of Ukraine is to issue a fourth decree to try and bring his decrees in line with Ukraine’s Constitution.
Rather then admit that the decree is to correct errors in the earlier decrees. The president’s supporters are trying to pass it off as an offical launch of the parliamentary campaign. Earlier Moroz had warned of the need for a further decree, something that the office of the president denied at the time.
Ukraine, according to the office of the president, has been without a parliament since April 2 when the president issued his first decree.
Amidst ongoing concern that the president’s decrees are unconstitutional the president was forced to issue a second decree the day after the constitutional court retired to consider its verdict. The office of the president was hoping that by cancelling his first decree and issuing a second decree that would also negate the ability of the constitutional court to rule on the presidents first decree as the president decree was no longer in force.
It was when the constitutional court decided to push on and consider the second decree in light of the argument presented on hearing the first decree.that the president continued the real possibility that the Constitutional Court was about to declare the president’s actions unconstitutional.
In order to prevent the Constitutional Court from ruling on the illegality of his decrees, which would have provided a clear definitive indication that the president was indeed out of control and also facilitated grounds for the president’s impeachment, the president illegally dismissed three constitutional court Judges (two have since resigned and a third judge won an appeal against the presidents dismissal).
When the president issued his third decree in May, following agreement to hold elections in Autumn he stated at the time that there would be no further decrees replacing the third decree.
The third decree was also challenged and a further appeal has been lodged in the Constitutional Court.
You see Ukraine’s Constitution states that an election must be held within 60 days of the termination of authority of the parliament. For all intensive purposes the president has dismissed the parliament unconstitutionally and has set an election date beyond the 60 limitation. The on again off again dismissal.
Article 82 of Ukraine’s Constitution was designed to ensure that Ukraine would not be without a parliament for no longer then 60 days let alone 6 months. In theory, If you subscribe to the view of the Office of Ukraine’s President, the president can unilaterally issue decrees then cancel them and issue another decree indefinitely.
Ukraine’s constitution only empowers the president to dismiss Ukraine’s parliament under three circumstances outlined in Article 90 of Ukraine’s constitution (Extract below). None of the conditions outlined in the constitution currently apply which indicates that the president’s decrees are in fact unconstitutional.
The only constitutional grounds which the president now relies on is Article 90 clause (3) following the recent resignation of over one-third of Ukraine’s elected members of parliament. Even then arguably clause three can only take effect 30 days after September 4 , the date scheduled for the commencement of Ukraine’s next regular parliamentary session (Article 83 of Ukraine’s Constitution).
Article 82 of Ukraine’s Constitution states
“The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine works in sessions.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is competent on the condition that no less than two-thirds of its constitutional composition has been elected…”
This means that come September 4 the parliament will not be able to commence its next scheduled regular parliamentary session and thirty days on the president will then have the constitutional authority to dismiss the parliament and according to Article 90 hold fresh elections within 60 days from the date the president is constitutionally able to dismiss the parliament.
– Past related Links
June 16 – Opposition resignation provides legal groundshttp://ukrainetoday.blogspot.com/2007/06/question-and-doubts-raised-as-to.html
June 7 – Questions and doubts on the constitutionality of President’s Third decree
June – 5 President issues third decree
June 5 – President issues third decree
May 29 – Political Agreement signed
May 22 – Constitutional Court to rule against President’s decrees.
May 11 – Yushchenko Sacks Third Constitutional Judge
May 4 – Second decree on the rocks
May 1 – Second Constitutional Court Judge opposed to presidents actions dismissed
April 30 – The Constitutional Court purge begins to avoid judicial review First judge sacked
April 25 – President issues second decree postponing election until June 24 following Court ruling
April 20 – European Assemble PACE calls on Ukraine to respect the outcome and decision of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court
April 17 -Ministry of justice legal opinion on constitutionality of president’s authority to dismiss parliament.
April 2 – First Decree by president
Constitution of Ukraine May 25, 2006
– Extract of Ukraine’s Constitution –
The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is terminated on the day of the opening of the first meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of a new convocation.
The President of Ukraine may terminate the authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine prior to the expiration of term, if:
(1) there is a failure to form within one mo
nth a coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as provided for in Article 83 of this Constitution;
(2) there is a failure, within sixty days following the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, to form the personal composition of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
(3) the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine fails, within thirty days of a single regular session, to commence its plenary meetings.
The early termination of powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be decided by the President of Ukraine following relevant consultations with the Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and with Chairpersons of Verkhovna Rada parliamentary factions.
The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, that is elected at special elections conducted after the pre-term termination by the President of Ukraine of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the previous convocation, shall not be terminated within one year from the day of its election.
The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall not be terminated during the last six months of the term of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or President of Ukraine.