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13.12.2002

The appeal of the Kharkov Group for human rights protection on the parliamentary crisis in Ukraine.

   

The recent events in the Supreme Rada of Ukraine essentially abuse the constitutional rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens. This fact impels the Kharkiv group for human rights protection (the KhPG in what follows) to publish the appeal.

The political activities of the state, its organs and officers in the countries of constitutional democracy must be consistent and grounded on the distinctly determined competencies and concrete formal procedures. Every state organ or state officer must act "only on the basis and in the framework of his authorities and by means stipulated by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine" (part 2 Article 19 of the Constitution of Ukraine). And the higher is the state organ or post, the stricter must be the limitations of the activities and more exact the political procedures must be determined by special norms. The KhPG is forced to declare that the state organs and officers of Ukraine brutally violate these legal principles, which resulted in the parliamentary crisis and may lead to other, even more dangerous for the country, consequences.

Ignoring the will of the voters, using force structures for realizing such specific for Ukraine "political technologies" as blackmail and threats, President’s administration and the pro-President fractions in the Supreme Rada created the so-called parliamentary majority, which, under the pretext of taking on themselves the political responsibility, illegally re-elected the head of the National Bank and took away from the opposition (which, by the way, represents the majority of the voters) the top posts in the parliamentary committees. These actions are illegal, since they violate the Ukrainian Constitution. In what follows we will explain which violations were committed.

The term "permanently working parliamentary majority" is still obscure. The parliamentary majority may not be created artificially. It may appear only as a result of election. Any arrangements, voluntary obligations or agreements about joining the majority may not entail any juridical consequences. The Constitution stipulates three ways of creating the parliamentary majority: a) simple (226 MPs – Articles 91, 84, 87, part 2 Article 111 of the Constitution); b) two types of qualified– 2/3 (Articles 20, 155, 156) and 3/4 (part 5 Article 111) of the Constitutional composition of the Parliament. So, the parliamentary majority, according to the operating constitutional model, may be only situational. The very idea of creating the "permanently working parliamentary majority" contradicts part 2 Article 80 of the Ukrainian Constitution, which guarantees to every MP the freedom of expression and the freedom to vote according to his views. The creation of such majority restricts the constitutional status of people’s deputies. If a deputy votes following the recommendations of the majority, this is a violation of the democratic norms, since the principles of liberal democracy provided by a number of modern international legal and political documents insist not so much on the rights of the political majority as on the guarantees of the rights of the political minority. That is why it is unacceptable to acknowledge that the voting of 17 December by the so-called parliamentary majority with the personal bulletins was legitimate.

Hence, the creation of the parliamentary majority in such a manner and the work of this majority are the brutal infringements of the universally recognized international standards of parliamentary democracy. The violence used by one part of the Parliament against another part threatens the country with slipping down to the authoritarianism. The KhPG cautions the power structures against the use of the force methods not sanctioned by law and reminds that the regime, which abuses human rights and freedoms, is doomed to defeat. There are some chances yet to avoid the political discredit of the power, but for this the state structures must stop the aggression against the political freedoms in Ukraine.

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