Ukraine’s President, Viktor Yushchenko, faced with growing disillusionment in his administration, had indicated that he will, once again, dismiss Ukraine’s Parliament.
The announcement followed a decision by the President’s political faction Our Ukraine to withdraw from the governing coalition sparking a new round of political crisis in Ukraine.
The decision made yesterday comes as no surprise as Yushchenko has been actively undermining Ukraine’s democratically elected parliament since his election back in 2004.
The relationship between the President and the governing coalition came to a cross roads last month when the Office of The President attacked Ukraine’s Prime-Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, making unsubstantiated allegations and accusations that the prime-minster has committed “high treason”.
The catalyst for the latest fall-out was the Prime-minister’s determination to not support the President’s call to arms over the recent Georgian/Russia conflict.
Cool heads have prevailed.
The decision of Yulia Tymoshenko to refrain from commenting on the crisis and not fueling dissent and conflict was a correct one. The making of rash decisions and irrationally placing blame on either side to the conflict without knowing the full facts would have only destabilized the region, dragging Ukraine into another Presidential manufactured crisis with global consequences.
Yushchenko has been planning his latest assault on Ukraine’s Parliamentary Democracy since last years election when his party Our Ukraine won less then 12% of the vote. His party has since declined in support to below 5% with opinion polls consistently indicting that Yushchenko is unable to win a second term.
No longer constrained by the 12 month constitutional limitation on the dismissal of Ukraine’s parliament, and hoping to capitalise on the regional conflict and unrest, Victor Yushchenko has falsely accused the Parliament of initiating a Coup D’etat and has threatened to dismiss the Parliament and call fresh elections.
The latest political crisis, in what is essentially an ongoing power struggle between the Office of the President and the peoples’ democratically elected Parliament, comes as the Parliament introduces amendments to the the Law on the Constitution of Ukraine seeking to establish proper checks and balances to prevent ongoing and continuing abuse from the Office of the President.
The current situation can not last and something has to give.
The relationship between the Office of the President and the government is irreconcilable, with the President undermining the efforts of the executive government at every step.
Earlier this year Yulia Tymoshenko bloc indicated their support for changes to Ukraine’s Constitution completing Ukraine’s transition away from soviet Presidential rule and implementing a full European style Parliamentary Democracy. A move that has the support of a constitutional majority of the Parliament, if only they could agree in the terms and detail of the proposed reform.
Yushchenko last year brought Ukraine close to the brink of civil unrest when he unconstitutionally dismissed the previous parliament and illegally interfered with the independence and operation of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court in order to prevent the Court from ruling against his decrees.
Faced once again with the possibility of losing power and control Viktor Yushchenko is prepared to throw Ukraine into another political crisis by sacking his second Parliament in as many years in order to prevent the Parliament from initiating change to Ukraine’s constitution.
Now is not the time to take such action.
A decision to dismiss Ukraine’s Parliament will once again lead to civil unrest and economic decline.
If Victor Yushchenko can not work with, or respect, the Parliamentary majority then he should tender his resignation and seek to renew his mandate and hold an early Presidential election without delay.