Skip to comments.Ukraine president dissolves parliament
Posted on 04/02/2007 12:33:08 PM PDT by A. Pole
Ukraine is facing its second general election in less than two years after President Viktor Yushchenko last night dissolved parliament, citing "unconstitutional" behaviour by the Moscow-friendly government of Viktor Yanukovich, prime minister.
In a move aimed at ending months of political gridlock caused by a stand-off with his long-standing rival Mr Yanukovich, the president said in a television address that it was his "duty" to call fresh elections, accusing the government of the "the politics of intrigue and fraud". The poll will take place on May 27, he said.
Mr Yushchenko urged Ukrainians to remain calm saying "the situation is under control and stable".
"We are going down a difficult but democratic path," he said.
The dissolution of parliament - the boldest move by Mr Yushchenko since he came to power in the pro-democracy Orange Revolution of 2004 after beating Mr Yanukovich in presidential elections - was immediately challenged by government MPs. Legal experts also questioned the constitutionality of the presidential order.
The move followed eight months of increasingly acrimonious stand-off between the president and the prime minister, who came to office after elections in March 2006 that left the country split between allies of the two men.
Faced with his rivals systematic undermining of the authority of the presidency, Mr Yushchenko feared that his hopes of setting Ukraine on a democratic and pro-western course would be derailed.
While Ukraines economy has been performing strongly and investor interest has been growing, the business community has been increasingly concerned about the consequences of political infighting. Corruption is seen to be on the rise and the integrity of key institutions, including the court system, has been called into question.
"Many feel that the current chaotic political environment has emboldened civil servants to revert to their old habits," said Jorge Zukoski, president of the Kiev branch of the American Chamber of Commerce.
Mr Yushchenko signed the dissolution order late on Monday after a frantic bout of last-minute negotiations with the government coalition.
In his address, he cited three areas of "crisis": unconstitutional formation of the coalition (a reference to the practice of luring over opposition deputies to bolster government numbers); unconstitutional resolutions passed by the government; and politics of "intrigue and fraud camoflauged by calls for unification."
"My actions are dictated for the dire need of preserving the country, its territorial integrity and sovereignty," Mr Yushchenko said.
Mr Yanukovichs allies warned that dissolving parliament "illegally" could split Ukraine on an east-west axis, between in Ukrainian and Russian speaking halves.
The premiers Regions party and the opposition party of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister, are expected to poll the highest support in new elections. Both were the strongest parties in the March 2006 poll. The Our Ukraine party loyal to the president has seen its support fall since finishing third in 2006.
Considering the recent treasonous actions by 'Rats, an interesting model to fantasize about here. I reject it because it would break things more than it would fix them... but interesting to fantasize about nonetheless.
This makes me envision another amendment.
It is happening here, just in reverse. :(
so let them split ....
East Ukraine will be absorbed by Russia. West Ukraine melds with Poland and becomes Ruthenia again.
It will be fun:). Ukraine may split up to 2 or 3 parts.
If they can keep corruption down to a dull roar, they have a good chance to move forward.
I don't think so. Ukrainians have a very independent streak which has grown since partition. In spite of a strong Russo descendant population in some parts, very few really want to tie themselves to Russia again.
Pretty interesting and ironic that a younger nation so much more so than our republic is able to act against those within who seek to usurp and commit treason against the nation.
Ironically at the same time this occurs, the US has the head of Congress going to the ME to conduct its own self-declared foreign policy.
It seems in Ukraine, breaking the rules has consequences, unlike the treason enabling representatives here who can call upon the media as their stalwart allies.
That will never happen. It’s a wet dream of Russian nationalists but, excluding the Crimea, the majority of Ukrainians do not want to become part of Russia. That includes Eastern Ukraine. Western Ukrainians are also not exactly enamored of Poland. Go read the history boards at ukraine.com to get a flavor of their feelings.
Ukrainians believe they have more democracy in Russia.
oops - that should read “than Russia”.
Actually I know a lot of Ukrainian women (friends of the wife) BUT I've never talked politics with any of them.
Ya'll probably know better on this one.
I think you are very wrong. Ukrainians are very political, and always have been. Voter turnout in the last election was 75% (compared to 42% in the US).
Those who emigrate, for the most part, are those who have given up on their society. They aren’t representative of the populace as a whole.
There is a certain sense of resignation, in terms of how society changes, but all of these countries have gone through massive changes in a very short time span.
I don’t know about that. I lived in Kyiv, the spouse of a Soviet citizen, and travelled through a lot of Ukraine and Russia. Even in the pre Gorbachev days, there were plenty of political discussions (in “safe” territory), and the lid blew open in the late 1980’s.
Are you aware that Ukrainian constitution allows the dissolution of Parliament only in three cases? 1. When no parliamentary majority can be formed. 2. when no government is formed for a specified period of time. 3. when Parliament does not perform its duties for more than 30 days.
Which of these three cases applies?
But the issue appears to be that the Rada is completely deadlocked and unable to agree with a course of action.
The reverse is true. Rada was not only deadlocked but was getting more efficient and powerful. The ruling coalition was growing to the point that it was going to be able to block presidential veto.
The last the REAL reason for declaring dissolution. Since the article 90 of the Ukrainian Constitution allows dissolution in cases of lack of majority coalition, lack of formed government or the non-functioning of Rada the presidential decree has no more ground that same act done in USA toward the Congress.
But can these 3 reasons be the only ones? I'm sure there's an underlying quality in the Constitution calling for the basic law to observed, not just these 3 totally arbitrary conditions. If the Parliament/Congress does something stupid or illegal, our system has a president and the Supreme Court to check it. Obviously this Ukrainian president feels that something illegal took place, so next step is their Supreme Court.
This crisis is absolutely fascinating. It's like watching a car crash. :)
There are no others, not in the Constitution. And if they were, the President would surely invoke them.
I'm sure there's an underlying quality in the Constitution calling for the basic law to observed, not just these 3 totally arbitrary conditions.
These 3 conditions are not arbitrary, they are parts of the Ukrainian Constitution.
If the Parliament/Congress does something stupid or illegal, our system has a president and the Supreme Court to check it.
Like dissolving US Congress by the Presidential decree?
Obviously this Ukrainian president feels that something illegal took place, so next step is their Supreme Court.
What are the feelings of the Ukrainian president should not be relevant in such case and should not be used as a justification for coup d'etat. BTW, it is Parliament who demanded the Supreme Court to look into it. Yushchenko said that the case is closed.
Hey! Y'all know the rules!
I don't see the following little "what if" scenarios ever happening in mature democracies like US, but it makes you wonder if President should have the possibility to dissolve it:
- Congress in 24 hours, without proper procedures and simply by majority - outlaws the other party, cancels a number of amendments, Bill of Rights and dissolves the seat of the president. Head of State becomes Speaker of the House.
- Congress, all by itself, decides to abolish the Supreme Court.
- Infinitude of cases where legislative could impose itself and take the roles of the executive - Speaker Pelosi goes to the Middle East, converts to Islam and pledges to surrender all American interests in the region. Or how about Congress declaring Pelosi Commander-in-Chief.
- Ever seen "Body Snatchers"? What if all 100 Senators become zombies? :) Ahhh, Never thought of that, did you?
She is enough to tempt Prince Yaroslav back from the dead.
What kind of gov. is this? How do they have a PM and a President?
Yes, same as in Poland, Israel or Germany (where PM is called chancellor).
So now those who tell us we should not tell the Russians how to run their “democracy” turn around and and try to tell Ukraine how to run hers. That’s rich.
I am sure that if Putin runs for the third term you will be the first to object on constitutional ground.
Can he come to American and teach Bush how to do this?
And I do believe that's Laura Ingraham on the left.
Julia is rich but not conservative at all.
Doggone it! I did not realize that she was at CPAC! I would have made sure to have gone. Laura Ingraham is fluent in Russian as I understand it. As to Tom Delay on the right, I do not think so.
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