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The President ignores UHHRU call to veto law jeopardizing property rights

11.01.2007 | www.helsinki.org.ua
The reconstruction of residential areas (micro-districts) from the obsolete housing fund is to take place. Whether individuals’ property rights may be violated has proven a secondary consideration. On 27 December the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union called on the President to use his power of veto against the law “On comprehensive reconstruction of residential areas (micro-districts) from the obsolete housing fund” (Draft Law No. 0943), adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on 22 December 2006. The President has, however, signed the law, stating that this was justified by the “inadmissibility of further procrastination with reconstruction, and also taking into account the need to create new mechanisms for stimulating the development of residential construction work and attracting investors”. The President did, admittedly, send letters to the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers with a considerable list of comments and the request to further improve legislative regulation in this area. His letters point to a number of failings in the law passed which require swift regulation. These include the provisions on bodies of local self-government themselves determining the procedure and time periods for resettling residents, the vacating of residential and non-residential buildings (Article 7), as well as the provisions on prohibiting, after state registration of a ruling to classify property as part of the obsolete housing fund, any actions aimed at changing the owner of these buildings or broaden their rights on resettlement (Article 16). The latter could in practice lead, for example, to it being impossible for parents to register their new-born babies at their place of residence which would immediately impinge upon their constitutionally guaranteed rights. Whether the President’s instructions will be implemented, and when, is not known. Many other such instructions have remained on paper. And the Law which presents a serious threat to Ukrainians’ property rights has already come into force. One has to expect an increase in the number of conflicts in this area and a rise in the number of Ukrainians made homeless. Marina Hovorukhina
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