Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Orange battle of attrition continues

President Yushchenko has decided that if a judge doesn't decide in his favour then he can be hassled and possibly even have criminal proceedings instituted against him..Courts that support BYuT appeals to annul his decree on dissolution of parliament can themselves be liquidated by decree.

PM Yulia Tymoshenko is adamant - "I know that they [early elections] will not take place..it is necessary to do everything so that there will be no elections," she said in a TV interview yesterday.

To underline this, her cabinet refused to allocate funds from state budget reserve funds to the Central Electoral Commission for conducting early elections, despite a 5 p.m. deadline set by the president.

The State Control and Audit Administration have warned the PM that if the cabinet permits early elections to be funded from the state reserve fund they may be acting illegally. The fund has recently been boosted in order to make good infrastructure losses caused by last June's severe floods in Western Ukraine.

What will the struggle of wills between the pres and PM bring next? Ukrainians like a lengthy New Year and Orthodox Christmas break. If the VR elections were to be switched to some time after this it would be late Spring before parliament would reconvene - about the time the presidential elections would be gearing up... A deal clincher could be combined VR and presidential elections..Maybe PoR would buy this...but the pres?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Early presidential; elections would be a start.(They should have been held following last years presidential coup). Ideally the players involved should be seriously considering their options and support for reform to Ukraine's constitution that would put an end to Presidential rule.

Maybe Yushchenko can ask the USA to find his extravagant waste of limited resources.

Simultaneous Presidential and Parliamentary elections could be a way out. Certainly cheaper then the option of having to hold another round of Parliamentary elections to be followed by a two round Presidential ballot.

Ukraine should also consider the adoption of Preferential "Single round" voting. Same result as a two round ballot but at half the cost.

http://fairvote.org

elmer said...

So, it's move and counter-move, spy and counter-spy.

Yushchenko issues a decree. Tymoshenko goes to court to challenge it, in a court with Tymo loyalists. Yushchenko dissolves the court, and gets rid of the Tymo loyalists. Tymoshenko blocks the court. One of the judges claims to have a heart attack.

Yushchenko demands that Parliament finance elections. BYuT blocks the rostrum to prevent Parliament from taking action. Yushchenko goes to the Security Council and pushes through use of reserve funds. The Cabinet of Ministers blocks the use of reserve funds.

Welcome to The Twilight Zone. Welcome to Mad Magazine.

http://www.ukrainianjournal.com/index.php?w=article&id=7328

Isn't there a provision in the Constitution that prohibits snap elections within a year of previous snap elections?

the8thcircle.com said...

If the elections take place in the spring or in tandem with the presidential elections, does this mean no government (b/c no coalition) for what like six months to a year?

UkrToday said...

Elmer: Yes there are limitations but there is debate about the interpretation.

I am not sure exactly what Yulia's argument is and on what basis her party has appealed. BUT she like anyone else has a right of appeal to the courts.

Yushchenko who claims he is pro democratic has no authority or power under Ukraine's Constitution to interfere with the process of the judiciary. This is something that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rightly criticised the Office of the president for in its report in April 2007.

In June 2007 Yushchenko ignoring the views of the European community in breach of Ukraine's constitution usurped power over the courts by illegally dismissing three Constitutional Curt Judges in order to to prevent the court from ruling against his decree.

In 2008 we are seeing a repeat of the same abuse of presidential authority. The EU having rightly criticised Yushchenko's abuse of power stood by and remained silent as Yushchenko ignored their concerns and proceeded to interfere with democratic processes. By remaining silent they had compromised their own standing and undermined the public confidence and principle of rule of law.

By all account Party of regions should be supporting Yulia Tymoshenko but her Party in 2007 also remained quite. So I can guess that Party of Region may take her lead and act the same.

If Yushchenko is allowed to get aware with this abuse a second time and he is not held to account for his actions then we can expect the situation will get much worst before it will get better.

Like all military battles and conflicts in Ukraine's past, Winter plays a big role in the outcome of any conflict.

Democracy in Ukraine, if ever it did take hold, would be destroyed killed off by a President who lies every time he opens his mouth. A President that does not support true democratic values or rule of law.

Yulia has to go on the offensive she has to campaign and seek support for the impeachment of the president and call for his resignation. She has to start spilling the beans on the president's secrets and facts surrounding past events.

The longer Yulia delays she runs the risk of losing public support.

To successfully mount an attack on the office of the president she needs the support of Party of Regions and by all accounts she does not appear to have their support. She has sadly been isolated also. United you stand divided you fall.

The other scenario that might play out if Yashenko seeks to declare a state of emergency is that Russia may consider it necessary to step in and protect its interests and prevent a takeover and invasion from the US.

God forbid that scenario come to be.

Either way you look at it Yushchenko has destroyed any trust and confidence in the Ukraine's Democratic development. He is the problem.

elmer said...

There don't need to be any "attacks" on the office of the president, or on Parliament, or anyone else.

Ukraine needs to have an impartial, independent judiciary. It is absolutely hideous that Yushchenko simply disbanded the court that issued an order postponing the decree that disbanded parliament.

The President of Ukraine should not have any such powers over the judiciary.

As far as "secrets" - they all have secrets, which are widely known. Each bloc has its set of money men, who buy their way onto party lists - for their own business interests.

That, too, calls for systemic reform.

They all need to take a deep breath and stop the insane pissing and shitting contests. Otherwise, you just get deeper and deeper in shit. There's no other way to put it.

A thug like Baloha enjoys these intrigues. Democratic principles don't matter to a thug like that. He's just looking for the next move or counter-move.

Including dissolving courts - which would be unthinkable in a true democracy.

And which would be unthinkable for a true democratic president to allow it.

They all need to just take a break, and have a constitutional commission, not composed of any oligarchs or front men for oligarchs, make recommendations for changing a rotten system.

That includes -

- independent, impartial judiciary

- elimination of party lists

- elimination of parliamentary immunity

Eliminating RosUkrEnergo from the Ukraine-Russia gas deal was a good start.

Eliminating Vanco Prykerchenska's Black Sea license, which was Akhmetov's and Yushchenko's pet project, was another good move.

There's more.

Anonymous said...

Yushchenko does not have the power and authority to unilaterly disband the courts and sack judges at his whim. Any major reorganisation would need to be considered by the High Council of Justice and would also require legislation. (See articles 121 to 131 of Ukraine's Constitution)

UkrToday said...

They have to get rid of the presidential system and adopt a full Parliamentary model as is the case with nearly every other European State.

The Parliamentary immunity issues BS, Parliamentarians do not have absolute immunity as falsely proclaimed.The only person with absolute immunity is the President. Members of parlaiment MUST maintain immunity for actions and statements made within the Parliament debate. They must be free to discuss issues without fear or threats of being charged with defermation or slander.

I support the abolution of the party list system, it does have its drawbacks. A better option would be the establishment of 50 local electorates, each electorate electing 9 members of a parliament on a 10% quota. The method of election should be by single transferable voting (Preferential) Proportional representation. Each electorate to be more or less the same size in number of constituents. Abolish the so called Imperative mandate provisions.

Change the dynamics of Parliamentary representation by providing direct local representation will make members of Parliament more accountable and as such more effective.

I also agree that the government must be serious in prosecuting any one considered to be interfering with the independence of the courts(Including the president). Yushchenko would be impeached if he did what he has done in a Western society. There is nothing worst then a head of state undermining the principle opf rule of law by breaching Ukraine's Constitution and illegally interfering with Justice and the judiciary. It sends the wrong message.

The Courts must be open and decisions of the courts made public and based on the principle of law.

Get the foundations right and then a country can begin to develop.

The Presidential system has failed Ukraine. It has allowed corruption to flourish.

Yushchenko has failed Ukraine, he has delivered very little reform and has set-back Ukraine's democratic development at least 10 years.

If Ukraine wants to join Europe then it must adopt European standards and European systems of governance not those of Russia or the United States.

Human Rights Watch said...

A major International Human Rights Umbrella Organisation has published a report condemning Yushchenko for his interference in Ukraine's judicial system. An offence that would be grounds for the President's impeachment in a Western Democracy and NOT ONE UKRAINIAN MEDIA OUTLET PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE REFERRING TO THE STATEMENT. HRO os the second intenration group to condem Yushchenkos actions.

QUOTE:
Ukrainian leaders should respect the independence of the judiciary, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch said that President Viktor Yushchenko has improperly interfered with the judiciary as his political rivalry with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has grown increasingly acute. Members of Tymoshenko’s political party have also taken steps that seem designed to intimidate the judiciary.
...
“As president of a democratic country, Yushchenko should observe and respect the independence of the judiciary, and not interfere with courts when they issue rulings he doesn’t like,” said Gill.

Yushchenko also appealed the District Administrative Court ruling to the Administrative Appeals Court. The chief of the appeals court requested protection from the Ukrainian security service. But the security service was present in the judge’s chamber during the deliberations on the appeal, according to a report by a Kyiv-based nongovernmental organization, the Political and Legal Reforms Center.

“It’s one thing for the security services to provide protection for judges,” said Gill. “But it’s quite another when they’re actually in chambers during deliberations. At a minimum, this creates the appearance of potential intimidation or even interference with a pending decision.”


http://hrw.org/english/docs/2008/10/20/ukrain20017.htm

Human Rights Organisation said...

The International Human Rights Organization has published a damning report on Yushchenko's interference in the Courts.

Ukrainian leaders should respect the independence of the judiciary, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch said that President Viktor Yushchenko has improperly interfered with the judiciary as his political rivalry with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has grown increasingly acute. Members of Tymoshenko’s political party have also taken steps that seem designed to intimidate the judiciary.

...

“As president of a democratic country, Yushchenko should observe and respect the independence of the judiciary, and not interfere with courts when they issue rulings he doesn’t like,” said Allison Gill, Moscow office director at Human Rights Watch.


Referring to Yushchenko ordering SBU agents to oversea the Courts deliberations


“It’s one thing for the security services to provide protection for judges,” said Gill. “But it’s quite another when they’re actually in chambers during deliberations. At a minimum, this creates the appearance of potential intimidation or even interference with a pending decision.”

Anonymous said...

Nihilism on high

Kyiv Post has also published an editorial peace by Katya Gorchinskaya attacking the President's annihilation of justice in Ukraine. She headline the article with the question "When leaders don’t even obey the law, what hope is there for the rule of law?"


The executive branch cannot legally dismiss the judicial branch at will. There is a procedure for it, and it has to be observed by all political players, including the president – but it was not. There are strong calls to restart the long-postponed judicial reform, but it’s unclear how it would help in this mess and who would be able to carry it out in the first place and then implement it, if the country’s top officials so readily ignore laws, apply pressure and intimidate judges.

Unless judges are free of fear and pressure, there is no justice. Unless all branches of power observe law, democracy becomes an oxymoron. Unless all political players sacrifice their ambition and do their job right, it doesn’t matter how many parliamentary and presidential elections are held and how often – the country will stay in a mess.


Ukraine's High Council of Justice, which represents all three players in Ukraine's justical system, should be charged with overeating judicial changes and reform consultation with the Europe's Venice Commission. Any proposals for reform should be backed up by legislation and not by the arbitary will of Presidential decree.

UkrToday said...

At 11:46 PM, the8thcircle.com said...
If the elections take place in the spring or in tandem with the presidential elections, does this mean no government (b/c no coalition) for what like six months to a year?

Answer: No the existing government/parliament remains in place until elections are held.

In 2007 Ukraine was in political limbo for over 8 months following Yushchenko's unconstitutional dismissal of Ukraine's democratic elected Parliament. Yushchenko has deliberately adopted a policy of destabilisation of Ukraine's parliamentary system. This is his second parliament he has now dismissed in just over one year.

If fresh elections are held minimal change will occur in the overall result. Party of Regions would most likely regain control of the government - Back to the Future part II.

In the meantime Ukraine has to endure the negative impact on Ukraine's economy as a result of of the President's policy of division and his personal power struggle.