Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko: “I'm ready to hold early presidential election”.

A couple of quotations from today’s press-conference of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko:
"The ruling coalition in Parliament is de facto absent".
"The majority voting system will never be presented again in Ukraine".
"The parliamentary coalition should prove it has 226 MPs, and re-introduce a candidature of PM".
"I'm ready to hold early presidential election, if the parliament agrees to hold early parliamentary election on a base of a new electoral law, and to abolish unlimited parliamentary immunities"
"Decision of the Constitutional Court shall be the base for future actions (concerning early parliamentary election. – T.V.)"

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) made public its World Economic Outlook today. The Fund revised its forecast of GDP of Ukraine to a drop of 8 percent this year, from the earlier figure of 3 percent. It also predicted the economy of Ukraine would grow 1.0 percent in 2010.
The World Bank also revised its 2009 forecast this month, and said that the Ukrainian GDP will drop to 9 percent from a previous prediction of minus 4 percent.
Ukrainian government still thinks that GDP-2009 will grow on 0.4 percent. In 2008, the economy grew 2.1 percent.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The April Fool’s Day. Ukrainian Parliament scheduled presidential election to be held three months earlier than it was expected – on 25 October 2009.

The Parliament of Ukraine has decided today to schedule the next presidential election on 25 October 2009. Just to remind, previously most of MPs and experts suggested the election of President has to be held in January 2010 – 4 years after the Inauguration day. The decision of Verkhovna Rada was a kind of an answer to the Presidential address to Parliament (yesterday).

Actually the real background of today’s vote of Ukrainian Parliament is hiding not exactly in the speech of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, and even not in his unexpected idea to change a Constitution by himself, or to introduce a two-chamber Parliament with a rather weak Lower House.

There is a rumor that the Presidential Secretariat has already drafted a Decree to dismiss the current Parliament and to call for a snap parliamentary election in a nearest future. To stay ahead, all the parliamentary factions united in common decision: to cut the presidential term of Mr. Yushchenko for 3 months. The second, but not less significant goal of the MPs was to secure their immunities: the Constitution says the Parliament shall not be dismissed during 6 months before presidential election.

401 of MPs voted in favor of “25 October”, 7 – the Presidential part of Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence faction (United Center party) – voted against. Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, member of OU-PSD, addressed his colleagues during the parliamentary debates: “What are we afraid of? Early parliamentary election? Dear Mr. Speaker, do you have information on the respective Decree of the President? Please, make this information public!”

What's next? Viktor Yushchenko is going to challenge the decision of Parliament in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. “This decision is not legal, this decision does not correspond to the Constitution”, he said today. “All of them are going to lose before the October… The election will be held in due time, provided by the Constitution of Ukraine”.

The version of the Constitution of Ukraine acting in 2004 (when Mr. Yushchenko was elected) says the presidential election should be held every four years. A current edition of the Constitution provides that the President shall be in power during four years after he assumed the office.