Call to veto unconstitutional amendments on forming a coalition
Members of Ukrainian human rights organizations have initiated an appeal to President Yanukovych calling on him to use his power of veto over parliament’s changes to the procedure for forming a coalition. On 9 March the Verkhovna Rada passed a Law on Amendments to the Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada which make it possible for coalitions to be formed not only, as clearly stipulated in the Constitution, by deputy factions, but also by individual National Deputies.
The authors of the appeal stress that this Law runs counter to the Constitution and therefore urge the President to refuse to sign it. They believe that his endorsement of an unconstitutional law would give a clear signal to the public of the new leadership’s lack of respect for fundamental principles of democracy enshrined in the Ukrainian Constitution.
Should the law nonetheless be signed, they plan to appeal against such disregard for constitutional norms in the administrative court, and call on all those concerned about their democratic rights to join them.
To the President of Ukraine, Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych
Dear Mr President
In accordance with the Law on Citizens’ Appeals, we turn to you as President and Guarantor of the Constitution of Ukraine.
On 9 March 2010, 235 National Deputies adopted amendments to the Law on the Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada. Having analyzed the relevant provisions of the Constitution pertaining to this issue, we are forced to conclude that the amendments are in clear contravention of the Constitution.
We deem it unacceptable to sacrifice unwavering adherence to the Constitution for the sake of political stability.
We would urge you not to sign the amendments proposed by Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada to the Law on the Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada, since by so doing, you as newly-elected President of Ukraine will provide society with a clear signal that the practice of flouting the Constitution and legislation is to continue, despite the change of leadership.
We call on you to show patience, wisdom and unwaveringly uphold the Constitution not only in words, but in deed.
We would ask you to use your power of veto, as envisaged in Article 106 § 1.30 of the Constitution, with respect to the Amendments to the Law on the Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada.
We trust that you will have the political will and wisdom needed to not sacrifice the law to expediency so as to not repeat the mistakes made by your predecessors.
Halyna Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Group
Lyudmila Yamshchykova, Centre for Social Partnership
Kostyantyn Reutsky, the Postup Human Rights Centre
Mykola Feldman, the civic organization “Expert Group”
Mykola Korobko, Kryvy Rih Branch of “Prosvita”
Inga Dudnik, the civic organization “Territory of Success”
Ivan Ivanyuta, the human rights organization “Spravedlivist” [“Justice”]
Viacheslav Yakubenko, Kharkiv Human Rights Group