Constitutional Court to mull constitutionality of stripping Yanukovych of presidential title Oct 19
Ukraine's Constitutional Court on October 19 will begin deliberating the constitutionality of the law stripping former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych of the title President of Ukraine.
The court's website says current President Petro Poroshenko has submitted arguments, which the court will consider next week. The hearing is scheduled for 10.00 and will be conducted via an exchange of legal correspondence.
As earlier reported, on February 4, 2015 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed bill No. 1883 stripping Yanukovych of the title President of Ukraine. Grounds for the law were that Yanukovych "unconstitutionally removed himself as president and neglected fulfillment of his duties as Ukraine's president, thus threatening the governance of the state, as well as Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, which led to massive violations of the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens."
Ukraine's Constitution says the title of President of Ukraine is preserved by law for the lifetime of the holder, if the president is not removed from the post by impeachment proceedings.
On June 17 the parliamentary Holos Ukrainy newspaper published the law "On stripping Yanukovych of the title President of Ukraine."
On June 19 Ukraine's Constitutional Court received Poroshenko's arguments on the constitutionality of the law "On stripping Yanukovych of the title of President of Ukraine," in which the head of state argued parts of the law were unconstitutional.
"In as much as the law, the constitutionality of which is debated, is not normative, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in passing it violated norms of the Constitution of Ukraine and in so doing violated Part 2 of Article 19 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which requires parliament to act on the basis and within the framework of grants of authority provided by the Constitution of Ukraine. In connection with this, I request the Constitutional Court to recognize the law of Ukraine 'On stripping Yanukovych of the title of President of Ukraine,' passed on February 4, 2015 to be unconstitutional," Poroshenko's brief states.
The brief also argues the Constitution of Ukraine in the part of Section 4 (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) and Section 5 (President of Ukraine) say it is not within the competency of the Verkhovna Rada to remove the title of President of Ukraine.
"Having taken this step, which was formulated in the name and the text of the law, the constitutionality of which is debated, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine exceeded its constitutional authority and acted in violation of Part 2 of Article 6, Part 2 of Article 19 and Part 2 of Article 85 of the Constitution of Ukraine," Poroshenko's brief states.
It is also noted in the brief that the title President of Ukraine is protected by law and is held for a lifetime, only if the President of Ukraine has not been removed from office by means of impeachment.
Yanukovych was Ukraine's prime minister from 2002 to 2005 and from 2006 to 2007, and president of the country from 2010 to 2014.
During presidential elections in 2010 he defeated Yulia Tymoshenko in the second stage of voting. During protests on Independence Square in Kyiv Yanukovych fled Kyiv on the night of February 22. The Verkhona Rada next resolved Yanukovych had "by unconstitutional means neglected his constitutional authority and in doing so failed to fulfill his responsibilities." A number of criminal investigations against Yanukovych were subsequently launched. Law-enforcement agencies suspect Yanukovych was involved in mass killings of protesters during the so-called Euromaidan protests, treason, abuse of power and a number of other crimes. Yanukovych currently resides in Russia.