The Constitional court, which is supposed to commence deliberations tomorrow on whether President Yushchenko's ukaz to dismiss the VR was constitutional or not, has become a farce.
This from 'Ukrainian Journal': "Judges hospitalized as pressure mounts
KIEV, April 15 – At least three judges of the Constitutional Court were hospitalized over the weekend in development that may delay the court’s ruling on sharp political crisis in Ukraine, a television reported Sunday.
The court was supposed to start hearings on April 17 on the legality of President Viktor Yushchenko’s decree that had dismissed Parliament earlier this month amid unfolding political crisis in the country.
Susanna Stanik, the deputy head of the court who was authorized to report on the case, was suddenly taken to Feofania, an elite hospital near Kiev, Inter television reported.
Stanik, as well as two other judges that have been apparently taken to the same hospital over the weekend, are thought to be loyal to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych."
The Security Service of Ukraine [SBU] are investigating alleged bribery of Judge Stanik involving real estate and several automobiles to the value of $12m.
The SBU also confirm that evidence of coercion applied to some of the judges has come to light. A family member of one of the judges had the wheel nuts on his automobile loosened. [?] [I have long suspected these guys have a few 'screws loose']
The Prosecutor-General's office say, with laughably indecent haste, that the accusations against Judge Stanik have been checked out and have been determined to be groundless.
Last week 50% of Ukrainians considered the Consitutional court was incapable of making an objective legal decision. This week it would probably be even more.
LEvko says the CC is a discredited institution and should be dismissed [or ordered to take part in a best-of-5 penalty shoot-out to decide].
Or 18 new CC judges should be selected by the drawing of lots from a pool of young, anonymous and untainted judges.
Interesting graphic on how Ukraine's GDP [in black]
is linked to world hot-rolled steel prices [in red]. The Orange Revolution, and the current troubles will not alter this graph.
Finally , some good analysis [in Russian] from the Ukrainian business journal: 'Expert'
I've translated and paraphrased portions:
"Viktor Yanukovich's team pushed too hard to establish a monopoly of power, and this provoked consolidated resistance from all other remaining players. It will be impossible now to avoid early parliamentary elections.
Last summer PoR had only one task - to minimize the consequences of the creation of orange coalition, but when Oleksandr Moroz left the orange team this allowed Regionaly to create their own ruling coalition. Yanukovych became prime minister, and "Our Ukraine" people and representatives of presidential environment were removed from the majority of administrative structures.
The new law "on the cabinet of ministers of Ukraine" gave the government almost unlimited power. The ruling coalition established control almost over all spheres of economic policy - from the privatization, to the regulation of banking sector. But even this wasn't enough for them. Yanukovych's team wanted one last decisive offensive, which would finish off the President as an independent center of power and would allow the premier to revive the one-man management of Leonid Kuchma's time. For Regionaly this became their Stalingrad. All of their opponents combined, and convinced the President Yushchenko to deliver the strike to their flank.
It's not worthwhile searching for a lawful basis for the breaking up of parliament - it does not exist. The decision of the President appeared twelve hours before former "NasheUkrainets" Volodymyr Zaplatinskiy , at a session of the VR, was to announce the creation of a new fraction of the ruling coalition consisting of 22 deserters from BYuT and NU. By the end of that week the majority would have been up to 300 deputies. Into the ukaz on snap elections was poured the energy of all political forces and business groups which understood that the constitutional majority, under the control of the premier, would have almost absolute power. Any opponents would either be subdued or would have to run abroad.
Indeed besides control over parliament, up to the moment of Yushchenko's radical step, the coalition almost established sole influence on the judicial system, enabling them to block constitutional law court. Even Kuchma did not have the possibility to combine legislative, and executive powers, and control their functioning.
Regionaly roughly destroyed one of the fundamental principles of a functioning system of balanced forces, formulated in the 60's of the previous century by American scientist Morton Kaplan, i.e. all subjects are unavoidably united against any participant, who attempts to acquire a dominant position with respect to the remaining part of the system. Certainly, for the presidential team, Yulia Tymoshenko is rival to equal Regionaly.
The actions of Yushchenko completely correspond to this rule. During September 2005 he sacked Tymoshenko's government after finding temporary support from Yanukovych. Now the President is 'blocked up' with BYuT in order to eliminate the scenario of the usurpation of authority by "Donetskiye". But if Tymoshenko's team turns out to be victorious in the elections, then the idea of a wide coalition between 'Regionaly and "Nasheukraintsi" could be realized by this summer.
No one can force the parties of the ruling coalition to participate in the early elections, but if they did not take part, the electorate of the Communists or Regionaly would vote for Nataliya Vitrenko or Volodymyr Litvin's parties.
The leadership of the Party of Rgions well understand that the government can only hinder, but not stop parliamentary elections - existing laws on election of VR deputies are such that elections are recognized as having taking place, even if only one party and one voter participates.
If Regionaly boycott the elections, they could finish up with nothing. The premier has to solve a complex problem - obey the decision of his political opponent Viktor Yushchenko while at the same time preserving face with his voters and party members.
If Regionaly play their cards right they have good chances to obtain a majority in the new parliament.
However, before the elections it is necessary for PoR to decide what to do with the Socialist Party. Independent participation of the SPU in the early elections mean they probably will not enter parliament at all, while joining up with Regionaly would deprive them of their independence. An analogous dilemma stands before Anatoliy Kinakh and the other deserters.
Pro-presidentia parties have a much greater chance of winning the elections if they form a mega-block.
The prospects of creating this mega-block will become known this week. On Tuesday the congress of "Our Ukraine" takes place, followed by "Batkivshchina". Yulia Tymoshenko thus far has not been well disposed to the idea.
Even after the snap elections questions about power in the Ukraine will again be the object of complex and multi-evel compromises between Party of Regions and the President.
The 'double act' of Victor Yanukovich and Victor Yushchenko, which was established in 2004, will be preserved at the minimum until the following presidential elections in November 2009."