Poll: 75% counted Yanukovych still holds the lead – Tymoshenko’s has nothing to be ashamed of.

February 8, 2010

The morning after 6:00AM

With Over 80% of protocols recorded Viktor Yanukovych on 48.68% has maintained his lead over Tymoshenko who has 45.67%.  A closer then expected margin of 3%. The number of participants is estimated to be 65%. The Crimean vote (33.62% counted) is still to be included. All other regions have over 67% registered.

Its all over but for the declaration of the poll.  Tymoshenko will maintain that that she had been cheated out of office. The reality is she did well to secure as many votes as she had given the extent of competition against her.

The outcome of the election will give cause for Yanukovych to think twice before pursuing a fresh parliamentary election.  Yanukovych could not hold on to the 50% psychological victory.  His win is not a triumph but as they say winners are grinner’s and he will be sworn into office.  There will be no Maidan or Orange revolution II.  Sure Yulia will scream and continue to try and  undermine Yanukovych’s victory But she will not win any overwhelming support if she does.

The only loser is Yushchenko, His dwindling support base did not follow his lead or advice the against all vote (4.48%) showed little change.

The closer then expected result, and the fact that Ukraine remains divided as ever, is a clear indication that the presidential system has once again failed to unite Ukraine.

Over one billion dollars has been spent on this election and what has Ukraine got to show for it? Its future is just as cloudy as it was before. The only difference is that Yushchenko has been removed from office and his opponent in 2004 has won the election by a slender but decisive margin.

The challenge and test of character will be if Yanukovych can reach out and negotiate a successful transition and constitutional change that would see Ukraine put an end to the abuse of Presidential authority and embrace a European parliamentary system?

If there is to be another round of national elections it must only occur following the implementation of reform.

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Constitutional Court rules on Law of the Presidential elections

October 20, 2009

Ukraine’s Constitutional Court has brought down its ruling.  As previously reported in a leak the Court has ruled unconstitutional five provisions of the Law on the Presidential Elections.

1. The provision that required voters abroad to be registered with the consulate before having the right to vote. 

Now any citizen of Ukraine can turn up and apply to vote at a Ukrainian consulate abroad. In a strange and some what conflicting move the Court upheld the abolition of absentee voting.  Seems that if your are living abroad you can vote but if your holidaying in Ukraine or visiting friends or relatives you are denied the right to vote. If your voting abroad you still have to attend the consulate offices. In 2007 the number of voters voting abroad was less then 0.05%

2. The provision that members of the local CEC boards needed to be registered as living within the area has been removed

This is a reasonable change but will not effect the conduct of the election

3. Proposed limitations of court challenges have been removed.

It is not clear exactly as to what the repercussions of this might be. It is common for legislation to restrict frivolous and unsubstantiated challenges that might arise from time to time.  The general principle is that any error in the conduct of the election procedures MUST be demonstrated to have effected the overall results of the election before any challenge can succeed.

4. Abolished the two day limitation on hearing any disputes related to the conduct of the election

5. Removed the exclusive right of the CEC to declare a candidates registration invalid

The courts will now have the right to consider any application, the main problem with this is any court proceedings may effect the overall administration and timing of the election if any disputes are not quickly addressed.

Yushchenko was quick to claim that the Constitutional Court ruling was a win for his stance but the reality is it was not .  Not all the arguments provided by Yushchenko were upheld. The changes to the legislation will not effect the  overall elections.  The elections will still proceed as planned with the 90 days campaign and most important the 2.5 million hrivina deposit remains in place.  The Parliament may have to modify some aspects of the law but the legislation remains in tact.


Ukraine’s Constitutional Court enters the relm of polictics

September 18, 2009

In a rather extraordinary and highly questionable action the chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, Andriy Stryzhak, has prejudged the outcome of the President’s appeal on the law of Presidential elections.

Andriy Stryzhak, in a statement published by the National Radio of Ukraine, has rebuffed calls by Ukraine’s legislators for the Constitutional Court to consider its deliberations before the end of September. Further the chairman of the court expressed his opinion that “the election process will not be broken if presidential election law is declared unconstitutional“.

Andriy Stryzhak made it clear that the Constitutional Court would not rule on the new law before the end of the month. Instead of mentioning the fact that the new law remains in force until the Constitutional Court rules otherwise, Stryzhak stated that in the event the law is declared unconstitutional the old presidential election law will be in force. He further stated that the Constitutional Court will not consider the law as a matter of urgency as requested by the President and now the Parliament.

The old law has a 120 day campaign requirement which, if in force, would commence tomorrow (Saturday September 19)

The statement of the court’s chairman raises a number of serious issues not the least the extent of bias of the Chairman in prejudging the outcome of the President’s appeal, before it is considered by the Court, but also the possibility that the Court has once again entered the realm of politics by not fulling its duty to Ukraine. The Court must consider this as a matter of urgency and any delay would only undermine confidence in the court itself.

The Council of Europe in June this year called on Ukraine to implement changes to the law of the Presidential election so as to ensure that the legislation and conduct of the Presidential election meets recognised international standards.  It is crucial that changes to the law are in place without delay.

The law has been promulgated and remains in place until the Constitutional Court decides otherwise.  The striking out of this law at a crucial time in the election cycle would be detrimental to the election.  The Constitutional Court must consider this an an matter of urgency.  Any delay would be seen as political interference. The Court can not dismiss this issue at the last minute on a technicality as it did on the law of impeachment of the President.


Yushchenko appeals the law on Presidential elections

September 15, 2009

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko appealed to the Constitutional Court with a proposal to declare unconstitutional certain provisions of the new law “On elections of the President. The grounds cited by the President are weak and should not effect the overall application of the new law.

Yushchenko pins much of his hopes in having the law thrown out on the basis of diminished rights of foreign voters. Foreign voters during the 2007 parliamentary election represented less then 0.05%. Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko received 8566 votes, Party of Regions 6939 votes and Our Ukraine-Peoples self defense 6598 votes. The inclusion of these votes is unlikely to effect the overall result of the election which will be decided by Ukraine’s 25 million voters. The Constitutional Court can rule against the President or strike out the law in full or in part. Any decision to declare the law invalid would create a constitutional crisis and could jeopardise the holding of Presidential elections itself.

The arguments presented by the President are not sufficient enough to declare the elections unconstitutional, The President has not objected to the requirements for a higher deposit or the proposed 90 day official election campaign period.

The grounds of appeal cited list part 6 of article 2 of the new law, which provides the definition of residence in the consular registration for the realization of the right to vote in presidential elections, Part 6 of Article 23, Part 9 of Article 24, Part 9 of Article 31, Parts 4, 5, 9, Article 32, providing making changes to the electoral commissions, voter lists at polling stations on voting day, the decisions of electoral commissions.

The President has also requested the CCU to assess the provisions of paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of Part 2 of Article 36 (1) as it relates to the preparation and update the voter lists at polling stations abroad on the principle host of citizens on consular registration. (i.e. in order to vote voters must be registered first with the consulate)

In addition, the rate of the first paragraph of Part 1, Part 2 and 5 of Article 56, which would eliminate the decision to cancel registration of a candidate for President of the supreme judicial body, and considers this decision to the exclusive powers of the Central Election Commission without adequate guarantees of judicial protection, and also the second paragraph of Part 4 of Article 79, paragraph two of Part 5 of Article 83, Part 7 of Article 84 and Parts 5 and 6 of Article 99.


CCU: law on impeachment null and void due to technicality

September 15, 2009

Ukraine’s constitutional Court has declared null and void the law on Impeachment of the President.

The Constitutional Court found that the Chairman of Parliament failed to properly adhere to the procedures in promulgating the law. The Court did not consider other issues of conformity.

Did Lytvyn make a stupid mistake or was it deliberate act of sabotage?

The Court cited as a breach of procedure the fact that the law was published on 15 January – the date of its first decision, not the date of its re-enactment on March 3 and no signature of Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn.

A dissenting opinion was registered by Judge Tkachuk who argued that the publication dates did not prevent the law from coming into existence.  It takes an interesting and common sense approach to Ukraine’s law.

It is unclear if the law needs to be reconsidered by the Parliament or if the speaker of the parliament can correct the omissions made.


Constitutional Court under pressure

September 11, 2009

Ukraine’s Constitutional Court has felt compelled to reissue a statement of concern about “Pressure on the Courts”.  

The last time they issued such a warning was in 2007 when the Court was under pressure by the President of Ukraine who illegally interfered with the independence and operation of the Constitutional Court in order to prevent the court from ruling against  Yushchenko’s  decree dismissing Ukraine’s previous Parliament.  – The Court took no action against the President.
The Constitutional Court never ruled on the question of constitutionality of the President’s April 2, 2007 decree.
On September 9, 2009 the Constitutional Court issued the following statement (translation by Google)

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF UKRAINE

In socio-political situation, some politicians, officials perceived ambiguously separate decision by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine: they give different assessments, including critical. Article 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine provides for the right of everyone to freedom of thought and speech, to freely express their views and beliefs. At the same time that article provides for the legislative restriction of that right given to the highest public interest, which is classified as maintaining the authority and impartiality of justice. Influencing judges in any manner prohibited by Article 126 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

Since the resumption of plenary meetings in 2006, some state officials and politicians regularly in various forms, trying to intervene, sometimes with threats to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. In these circumstances the Constitutional Court of Ukraine drew attention to its statement of May 10, 2007.

Of particular interest to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, some politicians and people’s deputies of Ukraine became manifest after the recent Court decisions, particularly on July 7, 2009 in the case of compliance with the Constitution Law of Ukraine “On amending some laws of Ukraine on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, features the proceedings in the constitutional treatment and prevention of abuse of the constitutional right to representation. “They deliberately resorted to a misrepresentation of fact these decisions of the Constitutional Court and relevant legislation, the misinformed public. In it could not pay attention. However, such statements sound nezavualovani disrespect and threats to the Court as a whole and of individual judges. Apply for recognition of the Court thought “illegitimate”, “politicized”, “semi”, “illegal”, with signs of degradation, professional, operating outside the legal field, so that it becomes “dangerous to the state” regarding the need to “rotation the Court before the presidential election, the withdrawal “of individual judges and the violation of disciplinary cases against them, alleging the alleged illegal appointment of individual judges, proposed to evaluate the Constitutional Court for sending him the constitutional court.

However, these policies recognize that such actions can lead to paralysis of a single state in the body of constitutional justice. Of particular concern is that such statements make the deputies of Ukraine and high-ranking official and publicly in Parliament of Ukraine, told the media .

It should be noted that the matter is not limited to public statements. Yes, August 20, 2009 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine introduced the draft resolution on the parliamentary hearings on “Status and prospects of development of constitutional justice in Ukraine, which, inter alia, requested to instruct the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to prepare and submit to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the necessary analytical information on the status of constitutional justice. Does not this mean that the commission of the Government of Ukraine should check the work of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine for consideration of specific cases and make decisions? Is this an attempt of direct interference in the Constitutional Court? Although the project was later withdrawn, the fact of making it to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shows deputies of Ukraine attempts to interfere in the activities of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

The Constitutional Court calls to refrain from statements and estimates that are inherently constitute interference in its activities, and reiterates the necessity to respect the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, pursuant to paragraph 14 of resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly on April 19, 2007, stating that “Government only body of constitutional justice – the Constitutional Court of Ukraine – should be guaranteed and respected. Тиск у будь-якій формі на суддів є недопустимим…“. Pressure in any form for the judges is intolerable ….

Constitutional Court of Ukraine assures society that his work is based on the principles of legality, independence, collegiality, equality of the judges, transparency and full and comprehensive review of cases and the reasonableness of its decisions, as provided in Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

9 вересня 2009 року September 9, 2009


Yushchenko refuses to sign law on Presidential elections

September 5, 2009

In an ongoing attempt to derail the Presidential elections, Ukraine’s incumbent President, Viktor Yushchenko, has refused to sign the law on the conduct of the Presidential election. Yushchenko in a published statement has said he will challenge the legislation in Ukraine’s Constitutional Court.

The President had earlier vetoed the legislation but his veto was overturned by a constitutional 2/3rds majority of the parliament. The new law has limited the term of the official election campaign from 120 days to 90 days and now requires candidates seeking election pay a 500,000 UAH deposit which will only be refunded to those candidates that progress to the second round run-off ballot. The law will now be signed into existence by Ukraine’s Parliamentary Speaker.

Viktor Yushchenko, who has less then 4% support in the opinion polls, is set to lose the first round of voting and his deposit.

Yushchenko’s statement published on the official Presidential web site fails to outline any grounds for his appeal to the Constitutional Court.

In June 2009 The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on Ukraine to adopt without delay changes to the law on the elections of the President.

Presidential elections are scheduled for January 17, 2010 with the official campaign set to start on October 19.