Court finds expired term of office for Kyiv Council no impediment
Kyiv’s District Administrative Court on Friday allowed a session of the Kyiv City Council to be called and held, finding that the work of this council was lawful. This is despite the fact that the term of office clearly stipulated in the Constitution has expired. As reported here, the Party of the Regions has refused to support any attempts in parliament to get elections for Kyiv Mayor and City Council. All surveys suggest that elections would oust the President’s protégé Oleksandr Popov.
“The Court has decided … to recognize the powers of the Kyiv City Council of the VI Convocation; the Deputy Mayor Tetyana Hereha; and deputies of the Kyiv City Council of the VI Convocation, elected at the extraordinary elections of 25 May 2008 with respect to carrying out the powers set out in the Law of Ukraine on Local Self-Government up till the election of a new convocation of the Kyiv City Council at the next scheduled elections according to the procedure established by Ukraine’s Constitution and laws”.
The court also ruled that Hereha had the right to call a plenary session of the City Council on 11 July.
The main opposition party Batkivshchyna has said that it will appeal against the ruling.
It would certainly be normal for the outgoing convocation to remain until the members of the new convocation have been sworn in. The problem, however, is that it is only 2013 now, and the next scheduled elections, courtesy of a recent Constitutional Court judgment, will only take place in October 2015. Since the deputies term in office ended in April this year, and the Party of the Regions is blocking any attempts to call elections, a city council given legitimacy by the District Administrative Court yet none according to the relevant articles of the Constitution could be in power for over 2 years, well after the next presidential elections.