Yushchenko offers to resign to allow early presidential elections

Ukraine’s embattled President, Viktor Yushchenko, has made a tentative offer to resign in order to facilitate early Presidential elections. His support for holding early Presidential elections is conditional on Ukraine’s parliament consenting to simultaneous elections

Yushchenko rejected a similar offer to hold simultaneous elections back in 2007 when Yushchenko forcibly dismissed Ukraine’s Parliament causing seven months of political and civil unrest.

Yushchenko also previously rejected proposals to hold early Presidential elections, which were originally scheduled for October 25, by appealing to Ukraine’s Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court upheld his appeal and elections where later rescheduled for January 17, 2010.

In order for early Presidential elections to be held Yushchenko would have to resign as President.

Yushchenko, who has less then 4% public support, reaffirmed that he will seek re-election knowing that he will not be re-elected to a second term of office.

The turn around offer made by Yushchenko has little chances of being accepted as there is no justification or legal requirement at this time for the holding of another round of Parliamentary elections.

On July 24 Yushchenko will be in his last six months of his five year term of office and as such losses Presidential authority to dismiss Ukraine’s Parliament.

Whilst Yushchenko talks up the suggestion that there is a political crisis the fact is that the only political crisis is of Yushchenko’s making and his desperate attempt to unseat Ukraine’s Prime-minister who has announced her intention to nominate against him for Ukraine’s Presidency.

Yushchenko’s offer is conditional on unspecified changes to Ukraine’s electoral system. If the changes require amendment to Ukraine’s Constitution then he has left it too late to negotiate Constitutional reform. Any proposed changes to Ukraine’s constitution would have to be considered and adopted by the Parliament prior to the next regular parliamentary session scheduled to start on September 1, 2009

What Yushchenko’s offer does highlight is the hypocrisy of the president’s position. Previously he rejected the notion of simultaneous elections and an early presidential elections. Now when he is faced with losing support and Ukraine facing a prolonged debilitating presidential campaign he indicates he is prepared to consider supporting an early ballot.

Early Presidential elections are in Ukraine’s best interest, Ukraine can not afforded a prolonged six month Presidential campaign, it should not be predicated on the basis and demand for another round of Parliamentary elections. The time and opportunity for simultaneous elections come and gone and should have been accepted back in 2007.

Holding a fresh round of Parliamentary elections in the absence of Constitutional Change is of little to no value. Ukraine needs to first resolve its Constitutional position and then hold another round of Parliamentary elections. A proposal that Yulia Tymoshenko has rightly advocated.

The President is the next cab off the rank.

If Yushchenko is sincere and concerned about Ukraine and democracy he would offer his resignation and provide the opportunity for Ukraine to hold early Presidential elections unconditionally.

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