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23.02.2010

Cancellation of local elections directly contravenes the Constitution

   

The Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] has issued a statement in which it expresses its outrage over the decision of the Verkhovna Rada to cancel the local body elections which had been scheduled for 30 May 2010.

While acknowledging the difficulties, CVU stresses that cancellation of elections without setting a new day is in direct contravention of the Constitution which clearly specifies the terms of office of city, settlement and village heads at 4 years.  With regard to deputies of local councils, CVU points out that when they were elected, the norm of the Constitution was in force which stated that they were elected for 4 years, and this is therefore the term for which the voters gave them a mandate.  Therefore unconstitutional attempts to extend this term of official should be viewed as an attempt to usurp power by representatives of certain political forces.

The vote for this resolution by a majority of National Deputies demonstrated the heights of political cynicism: first the Verkhovna Rada failed to carry out its constitutional duties and did not pass a State Budget for 2010, and then it uses this as a  pretext for unconstitutional extension of the term of local bodies.

Despite all efforts to provide a legal justification for the cancellation of the local elections, for CVU it is clear that the decision is purely political and dictated by the fear of a majority of the parliamentary political forces of losing their present position at local level.

CVU therefore calls on National Deputies to pass a Budget as soon as possible and to set a new date for local elections which will reduce as far as is feasible the period during which deputies of local councils, city, settlement and village heads hold office in contravention of the Constitution.

CVU Press Service

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