YANUKOVYCH TELLS UK PM ABOUT CONSITUTIONAL CHANGE - BUT IS HE STILL LEGITIMATELY THE PRESIDENT?

06.10.10


According to the website of the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych held a telephone conversation with the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron.

The site does not report when the conversation took place but says that they "discussed the current state of bilateral relations and prospects of Ukraine’s European integration, as well as expressed mutual interest in enhancing Ukrainian-British relations at all levels".

The statement goes on to say:  "During the conversation special attention was paid to the changes occurred in Ukraine following the Constitutional Court of Ukraine’s decree as of October 1. The Head of Ukrainian state underlined that a presidential-parliamentary form of government was reestablished in Ukraine. “This decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine reverted Ukraine into the legal field,” Viktor Yanukovych said."

Meanwhile, in an interview with UNIAN, the Secretary of the Venice Commission, Tomas Markert, said that the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine raises questions about the legitimcay of Ukraine's current leadership.

Markert said that the Venice Commission has not had an opportunity to analyse the judgment of the Constitutional Court Judgment, which was made public on 1 October, cancelling the constitutional amendments of 2004 and reinstating the 1996 Constitution. The Judgment hasn't yet been officially translated into English.

(In essence, the court ruling has given the President of Ukraine the power to elect (and dismiss) every member of the government, save for the PM, whose election has to be ratified by Parliament.  He can also now veto any decision of the government.)

Markert continued:  "This situation is of course worrying since it turns out that the government in Ukraine worked for several years on the basis of an unconstitutional Constitution. And that creates a problem of legitimacy of actions and legitimacy in general. For example, at the previous elections voters voted for candidates on the basis of the new Constitution, both during parliamentary and Presidential elections".

He then confirmed that the Venice Commission expects to be informed about and will discuss the Judgment during its regular session next week.   

Asked whether he agreed with Ukrainian opposition leaders calling for the the President and MP's to stand for re-election following the Court's ruling, the Venice Commission Secretary replied:  "I think this is a very difficult question since we have an extremely unusual situation. We just don’t have a European experience of this (nature) and I therefore would not wish to comment until our next session".

 

 



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