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Viktor Medvedchuk: The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine should stop the attempt to usurp power by President Zelenskyy and his team

The political crisis caused by the unconstitutional, illegal actions by President Zelenskyy and his team, aimed at depriving the judiciary of independence, failure to comply with the decisions of the Constitutional Court and the unlawful reprisal against its judges, which is being prepared in the Verkhovna Rada, was largely provoked by direct pressure from the forces exercising external control over Ukraine.

Zelenskyy’s team seeks to hide their desire to destroy the independence of the judiciary and make it ‘handheld’ behind some ‘arrangements’ with the G7 ambassadors, the European Parliament and others who, like the President of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada, have no authority to dissolve the Constitutional Court and terminate the powers his judges. The numerous statements on this matter are cynical manipulation.

The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) published a letter to the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Dmytro Razumkov, in which it spoke extremely negatively about Zelenskyy’s draft law: “Trust needs to be earned. But it can only be earned within a system which respects the constitution and the Rule of Law. Terminating the mandate of the judges is in blatant breach of the Constitution and of the fundamental principle of separation of powers. Violating the Constitution, even if for an arguably good cause, cannot lead to a culture of constitutionalism and respect for the rule of law, which the fight against corruption pursues.”

The Venice Commission has every reason to talk about gross violations of the Constitution of Ukraine. The Article 1512 of the Constitution of Ukraine clearly states that the “decisions and conclusions adopted by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine are binding, final and cannot be appealed.”

The decision to dismiss a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine may take place only in the manner prescribed by the Article 1491 of the Constitution of Ukraine.  The termination of the powers of judges of the Constitutional Court is carried out by a vote of at least 2/3 of the judges of the constitutional composition of the Constitutional Court.  There is every reason to consider the legislative initiative of the President, the actions of the members of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine as illegal interference in the activities of the Constitutional Court, failure to comply with its decisions. These actions, as well as the assessment of court decisions that have entered into legal force, contain elements of crimes, provided for in the Articles 109, 344, 376 and 382 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

I am sure that the decision of the Venice Commission should become a cold shower for the President of Ukraine Zelenskyy and his team.

The conclusion of the Venice Commission is unequivocal: the termination of the powers of judges is a flagrant violation of the Constitution and the fundamental principle of the separation of powers.

The establishment in the country of the dictatorship of legal nihilism and actions aimed at usurping power should not be acceptable.


Viktor Medvedchuk,

Chair of the Political Council of the OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE party

Опубликовано: 31 October 2020