September 4 could determine the outcome of proposed elections

August 30, 2007

Next Tuesday is the start or end of the campaign

In confirmation of Ukraine Today’s earlier comments September 4 is shaping up to become the next real test of authority and justification for the holding of fresh parliamentary elections scheduled on September 30.

Ukraine’s Minister of justice, Oleksandr Lavrynovych, has confirmed what we have been saying for months in a statement published by Ukrayinska Pravda “… there will be no early parliamentary election in the event the Verkhovna Rada registers 300 MPs.”

Olexandr Lavrynovych is convinced that the Verkhovna Rada will thereby demonstrate its competence.

Under Article 83 of Ukraine’s Constitution the parliament must convene its regular Autumn session on the first Tuesday in September. If the plenary session session can not be held then according to Article 90 section 3 of Ukraine’s constitution the President must wait 30 days before he has the power to terminate the authority of the parliament.

Kyiv post has reported that only 120 members of parliament have resigned.

If 300 or more members of parliament register their attendance on September 4 then the September 30 elections could be in doubt.

It is unknown if the president or the opposition will ty and prevent parliament from sitting – Something that is a criminal officence

Party of Regions have indicated that they will attend the scheduled plenary session whilst the communist party has provided conflicting statements. It is understood that the opposition will not be in attendance.

One of the issues to be considered at the September 4 session is the question of immunity for parliamentarians, teh judiciary and the president. An issue the opposition have campaigned on. The Government has called on all Parliamentary factions to resolve the issue of immunity prior top the September 30 poll.

It is difficult to see under what circumstances the session can be held if as claimed by the president and the opposition over 161 members of parliament have resigned. But the laws on resignation are sketchy, as we saw when Yulia Tymoshenko resigned earlier only to reclaim her entitlement at a later date in order to particpate in the July parliamentary session.

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September 4 could determine the outcome of proposed elections

August 30, 2007

Next Tuesday is the start or end of the campaign

In confirmation of Ukraine Today’s earlier comments September 4 is shaping up to become the next real test of authority and justification for the holding of fresh parliamentary elections scheduled on September 30.

Ukraine’s Minister of justice, Oleksandr Lavrynovych, has confirmed what we have been saying for months in a statement published by Ukrayinska Pravda “… there will be no early parliamentary election in the event the Verkhovna Rada registers 300 MPs.”

Olexandr Lavrynovych is convinced that the Verkhovna Rada will thereby demonstrate its competence.

Under Article 83 of Ukraine’s Constitution the parliament must convene its regular Autumn session on the first Tuesday in September. If the plenary session session can not be held then according to Article 90 section 3 of Ukraine’s constitution the President must wait 30 days before he has the power to terminate the authority of the parliament.

Kyiv post has reported that only 120 members of parliament have resigned.

If 300 or more members of parliament register their attendance on September 4 then the September 30 elections could be in doubt.

It is unknown if the president or the opposition will ty and prevent parliament from sitting – Something that is a criminal officence

Party of Regions have indicated that they will attend the scheduled plenary session whilst the communist party has provided conflicting statements. It is understood that the opposition will not be in attendance.

One of the issues to be considered at the September 4 session is the question of immunity for parliamentarians, teh judiciary and the president. An issue the opposition have campaigned on. The Government has called on all Parliamentary factions to resolve the issue of immunity prior top the September 30 poll.

It is difficult to see under what circumstances the session can be held if as claimed by the president and the opposition over 161 members of parliament have resigned. But the laws on resignation are sketchy, as we saw when Yulia Tymoshenko resigned earlier only to reclaim her entitlement at a later date in order to particpate in the July parliamentary session.


Simultaneous early parliamentary and presidential elections possible after September Poll

August 30, 2007

The President’s advisor Stepan Havrysh does not rule out the possibility of holding simultaneous early parliamentary and presidential elections if the constitutional amendments preparation will not begin right after the September 30 elections.

“If we fail to hold a nationwide debate, draw the President, Parliament, political forces, government and the judiciary into it, we will face government uncontrollably,” he said at a Tuesday press-conference, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports.

Mr. Havrysh claims that early parliamentary elections will not remove the confrontation between power branches that inevitably lead to a clash.

It is necessary to form a national constitutional council aimed at elaborating the new Constitution.

The council must consist of public representatives each representing 70,000 voters.

A draft Constitution must be prepared by specialists before brining it up for discussion.

In Mr. Havrysh’s opinion, a new draft Constitution may be approved at the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009.

It should stipulate a new system of parliamentary elections. Mr. Havrysh himself stands up for a two-chamber parliament.

After this it is desirable to call new early parliamentary elections on the basis of the new election system.

The President’s Secretariat is currently considering Mr. Havrysh’s proposal.

Source: Ukrayinska Pravda


simultaneous early parliamentary and presidential elections possible after September Poll

August 30, 2007

The President’s advisor Stepan Havrysh does not rule out the possibility of holding simultaneous early parliamentary and presidential elections if the constitutional amendments preparation will not begin right after the September 30 elections.

“If we fail to hold a nationwide debate, draw the President, Parliament, political forces, government and the judiciary into it, we will face government uncontrollably,” he said at a Tuesday press-conference, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports.

Mr. Havrysh claims that early parliamentary elections will not remove the confrontation between power branches that inevitably lead to a clash.

It is necessary to form a national constitutional council aimed at elaborating the new Constitution.

The council must consist of public representatives each representing 70,000 voters.

A draft Constitution must be prepared by specialists before brining it up for discussion.

In Mr. Havrysh’s opinion, a new draft Constitution may be approved at the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009.

It should stipulate a new system of parliamentary elections. Mr. Havrysh himself stands up for a two-chamber parliament.

After this it is desirable to call new early parliamentary elections on the basis of the new election system.

The President’s Secretariat is currently considering Mr. Havrysh’s proposal.

Source: Ukrayinska Pravda


Ukrainian Parliament to hold a September 4 Autumn Session

August 25, 2007
The speaker of the 5 convocation of Ukraine’s parliament Olexandr Moroz has indicated that the Verkhovna Rada will be convened on September 4, 2007
 
Dr Moroz announced that the parliament will consider a number of issues including the proposal to remove immunity from public officials (including members of Parliament and the President). the parliament will also consider the proposed impeachment of Ukraine’s President for breaches of oath and Ukraine’s Constitution
 
Ukraine has been in “constitutional limbo” now for just under 6 months.
 
The president’s earlier decrees dismissing the parliament are considered to be unconstitutional in that the president has no authority to dismiss the parliament except pursuant to the provisions of Article 90.  His previous decrees do not conform with the requirements of Article 90.  The situation has been exacerbated by the president’s illegal interference in the operation of the Constitutional Court  which has prevented the Constitutional Court from ruling on the legality of his actions.
 
Under Ukraine’s Constitution (Article 90 section 3) if the parliament is unable to commence its regular session, scheduled to start on September 4, then 30 days following  (October 5) the president has the authority to terminate the parliament and hold fresh election, but not before.   
 
If the parliament is able to successfully commence its next session on September 4 then the legality of early elections scheduled for September 30 will once again be brought into question.
 
Kyiv Post an article published on August
 
The Kyiv Post, in its article published on August 22, indicated that “nearly 120 opposition MPs have already resigned their seats in parliament” This is less then the 161 members previously claimed to have resigned by the president and opposition parties.
 
It is unknown if the Kyiv post has made an unintended mistake in its reporting but if the statement is true and 300 or more members of parliament attend the scheduled session on September 4 then Ukraine will once again face a constitutional crisis. 
 
A crisis of the president’s making.
 
The president, Victor Yushchenko, has demonstrated on more then one occasion that he is not pro-democratic and that he is prepared to ride roughshod over Ukraine’s constitution and rule of law by illegally interfering with the operation of Ukraine’s Constitution Court in order to avoid judicial review.  
 
Victor Yushchenko has consistently sought to undermine Ukraine’s democratic development at its parliamentary democracy and rule of law in Ukraine.
 
The current parliamentary system is a significant improvement over the past presidential ‘rule by decree’ dictatorship. Under the parliamentary model the government is held to account and there are significantly more check and balances on executive government. Its not perfect but it is a step in the right direction.
 
If the president is allowed to continue to misuse and abuse his authority and power of veto, Ukraine one again, will find itself in a situation of political division.
 
Political games waiting in the wings
 
The other issue that has been canvassed, but yet to play out, is what happens if the losing party/bloc fails to win the overall election scheduled for September 30 and opts to exploit a weakness in Ukraine’s constitution (Article 82) by not participating in the new convocation of the parliament. 
 
Ukraine’s constitution requires that two-thirds of its membership must be elected and sworn in before the new parliament can take office. (Article 82) If the losing side does not recognise the results of the election, and does not take the oath of office, the new parliament will not come into being. (Article 79)
 
Stalemate.
 
If the new parliament can not be formed and the old parliament remains in office.  (Article 81) 
 
Article  90 paragraph states “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.” If the government can not be formed within 30 days from the date of the election then the parliament loses its authority.  (Article 90, 82 and 83)
 
These are unintended circumstance that were never expected to be brought into play or used as a political tactic, in a ongoing power struggle. It is a question of good faith on part of Ukrainians political parties but never the less it highlights flaws in the current Constitution, one that the president and the opposition have already sought to exploit. 
 
Ukraine could very well see itself in a Mexican stand-off.  Such a proposal would most certainly play into the hands of the president who has and continues to undermine Ukraine’s parliamentary democracy.
 

Three more polls Two polls provide some encouragement for the opposition

August 15, 2007
Three more polls were published this week Two of the polls notionally place the opposition within a slender winning position. One of the polls which has been incorrectly assessed by the reporting media who reported four parties woudl secure representaion when in fact the poll indicates that five political blocks will be represented in the VI convocation of Ukraine’s Parliament. Former Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Lytvyn Peoples Party polled 2.8% with the participation rate of 89% Lytvyn which would receive 3.1% of the expected vote and secure 18 parliamentary seats the number of undecided is over 10% and could really decide the outcome of the election snap election.

The Sofia poll also reported on the all important trust factor with more then 52% of Ukrainians distrusting Ukraine’s President.

 

Poll Statistics   Publication Date 14-Aug-07  
Poll Dates from 27-Jul-07
to
    07-Aug-07      
Party/Bloc   % vote % poll # seats % seats
PoR 32.1% 32.1% 213 47.3%
BYuT 16.8% 16.8% 112 24.8%
OU-PSD * 14.9% 14.9% 99 22.0%
CPU 4.0% 4.0% 27 5.9%
PSD *
SPU 2.0% 2.0%
NVB
LPB 2.4% 2.4%
VSB-FO
Viche
Others
Undecided
None
Uknown 27.8% 27.8%
Particpation Rate/Sum   100.0% 100.0% 450 100.0%
No Vote 0.0%
Gov (PoR+CPU) +SPU 240
Opp (OUPSD+BYuT) 210
 
 

Poll Statistics   Publication Date 9-Aug-07   
Poll Dates from 30-Jul-07
to
    04-Aug-07      
Party/Bloc   % vote % poll # seats % seats
PoR 29.6% 32.7% 188 41.8%
BYuT 26.0% 28.8% 165 36.7%
OU-PSD * 11.9% 13.2% 76 16.8%
CPU 3.3% 3.7% 21 4.7%
PSD *
SPU 1.4% 1.5%
NVB 1.9% 2.1%
LPB 1.6% 1.8%
VSB-FO
Viche
Others 3.1% 3.4%
Undecided 9.2% 10.2%
None 2.4% 2.7%
Uknown
Particpation Rate/Sum   90.4% 100.0% 450 100.0%
No Vote 9.6%
Gov (PoR+CPU) +SPU 209
Opp (OUPSD+BYuT) 241
Other/Lytvn Bloc
 

Poll Statistics   Publication Date 14-Aug-07  
Poll Dates from 23-Jul-07
to
    01-Aug-07      
Party/Bloc   % vote % poll # seats % seats
PoR 26.3% 29.3% 171 38.0%
BYuT 21.4% 23.9% 139 30.9%
OU-PSD * 14.1% 15.7% 92 20.3%
CPU 4.7% 5.2% 31 6.8%
PSD *
SPU 1.1% 1.2%
NVB 0.7% 0.8%
LPB 2.8% 3.1% 18 4.0%
VSB-FO
Viche
Others 5.6% 6.2%
Undecided 9.4% 10.5%
None 3.6% 4.0%
Uknown
Particpation Rate/Sum   89.7% 100.0% 450 100.0%
No Vote 10.3%
Gov (PoR+CPU) +SPU 201
Opp (OUPSD+BYuT) 231
Other/Lytvn Bloc 18


Yulia’s media beat up Having failed to correctly fill-in her parties nomination forms Yulia cries fowl

August 15, 2007

It never ceases to maze just how limited thinking and bias the western media are when it comes to reporting on Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Central Elections Committee (CEC) came under unjustified attack when the CEC was faced with the inevitable task of having to reject the nominations of Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko. It turns out that Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko had not filled in correctly their nominations forms which required that candidates included on the registered party/bloc lists to included their registered addresses. every other political party managed to comply with the rules and requirements, that is all except Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc.

The CEC rejected the nominations and requested Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko resubmit the required documents. Party Lists have until September 2 to be registered.

Yulia never to let a chance go by claimed that the CEC was seeking to deny her the opportunity to nominate for the elections.

Rather then just correct the mistakes and fill in the forms properly Yulia appealed to the media and the courts.

The courts found no wrong on behalf of the CEC but never the less they ordered the CEC to register Yulia’s candidates. It is unclear if the court had also required Yulia to complete the missing information.

The provision of having to provide a registered address is common practice in all electoral systems in the west. The determination of the CEC was not out of the ordinary and any suggestion that there was a conspiracy to refuse Ukraine’s main opposition party the right to contest the elections is pure fantasy it was another media beat-up on Yulia’s behalf.

The decision of the court came as some form of relief to the CEC who as a result of the courts ruling has absolved the CEC from the inevitable task of having to reject Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko’s nominations.

In reality the story which has travelled the globe was nothing but a media beat-up and if anything showed to what extent the media will turn a blind eye for what they consider to be a good yarn.