Ukraine parliament could insist on early presidential election
Despite a court ruling?
Ukraine`s parliament is likely to insist that the presidential election be held in October rather than next January, despite a court ruling against a previous vote, the first deputy justice minister said, RIA Novosti reported.
The Constitutional Court declared the Supreme Rada`s April 1 decision to hold the election on October 25 as unconstitutional, following an appeal lodged by President Viktor Yushchenko, whose popularity ratings have fallen to single figures amid political instability and a shrinking economy.
However, the court did not set a specific date for the election, as such a decision can only be adopted by parliament.
"If the Constitutional Court cannot determine the date, then members of parliament must vote on it again. I personally have no doubt that they will again vote for the October 25 date," Yevhen Korniychuk said on Wednesday.
In line with the new version of the Constitution that entered into force in 2006, presidential elections are held on the last Sunday of the last month of the president`s fifth year in office. This would be January 17, 2010, the date Yushchenko had insisted on.
However, lawmakers decided that as the current head of state took office in 2005, which was prior to the new version of the Constitution taking effect, the old regulations should apply. Under the previous Constitution, elections are held on the last Sunday of October.
Analysts say the decision to call elections for October 25 was dictated by fears that the president could dismiss parliament.
Yushchenko`s former "Orange Revolution" ally, current Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, now an arch-rival, is likely to run against him in the polls, whenever they eventually take place.