On Feb 4, the Supreme Rada approved a law depriving Viktor Yanukovych of presidency. Supported by 281 MPs, including 12 of the 40 parliamentary oppositionists, the law has just two points: to deprive Yanukovych of presidency and to enact the law the next day after its publication.
The point here is that the law deprives Yanukovych of the title rather than the powers of president. Paragraph 3 of Article 105 of Ukraine’s Constitution says that a president in Ukraine should be called one till his death unless impeached. In fact, Kravchuk, Kuchma and Yushchenko are still presidents. They don’t have powers but enjoy certain preferences.
The key reason why the law was approved was that in Feb 2014 the Supreme Rada failed to impeach Yanukovych. It meant that, constitutionally, he was president till Mar 29 2015, and since the presidential election was postponed, he might continue to be called president. This, however, has no relation to the title of president.
An explanatory note to the bill says that the existing legislation has no point saying what should be done if a Ukrainian president leaves his country.
Rada’s legal experts said that in some of its points the law was contrary to the Constitution and could not even be called a law. They meant that wise people would have first amended the Constitution. But they in the Rada are not used to consult their experts.
On Feb 9, the law was sent to Poroshenko for ratification. It took the president four months to decide, while, constitutionally, he should have done it within 15 days.
Poroshenko finally did it on June 17. The next day the law was published in the Rada’s Voice of Ukraine newspaper (according to Ukraine’s legislation, a law in the country takes force within 10 days after its publication).
But on June 20 Poroshenko urged the Constitutional Court to declare the law he had ratified unconstitutional! He said that the Rada had gone beyond its authority and had no right to deprive Yanukovych of his title.
The question is why Poroshenko ratified it in the first place.
According to First Deputy Head of the President’s Administration Vitaly Kovalchuk, Poroshenko had his eyes open when ratifying the law. The only reason for his appeal to the Constitutional Court was to make sure that nobody would be able to dispute the law in either Ukraine or abroad.
But we see three other reasons why Poroshenko did it.
1. He was drunk and doesn’t remember anything. When he came around, he saw a law ratified by his own hand. He was shocked and rushed to go to the court. This scenario is not convincing - not because Poroshenko does not drink (he drinks on a regular basis). Simply, ratification is a long legal procedure, so, no one can ratify a law by mistake even if he has some intellectual problems at the moment of signing.
2. It was a “tricky” plan.
The problem here that it will be very difficult to exert pressure on the Constitutional Court even if the national service takes hostage the grandsons of the judges.
And also, it is not clear why Poroshenko kept the law shelved for four months (contrary to the constitution) if he needed it in February.
In any case, this scenario is more probable – for in Ukraine there is no fake that cannot become some real news.
3. This may be a tricky plan of the US Department of State.
With the ruling Kiev regime doing its best to make itself legitimate, it seems quite logical for it to try to overcome the legal consequences of the coup it organized against Yanukovych. Yanukovych will hardly be able or willing to make use of the Constitutional Court’s verdict. So, there will be no more need to impeach him.
And there are no more reasons for Yanukovych’s voters to feel hurt or for oppositionists to refuse to cooperate.
Let Yanukovych be. Let Poroshenko be. Just in case someone decides to impeach the latter too.
Vasily Stoyakin, political consultant, specially for EADaily