Fiddling with the Constitution
The Presidential Administration mulls strengthening the government’s powers via the extra-parliamentary path, a KW article by Ivan Malyshko says.
The absence of a constitutional or even mere stable majority in Parliament is forcing the government to change its tactics while preserving its strategic objective of getting Viktor Yanukovych reelected for a second term.
The chances of resolving the “2015 issue” electorally are fading, so the proponents in the Presidential Administration of resolving this issue through revising the Constitution is growing. No one in the corridors of power has any doubts that the current parliament should not be involved in any way in this process.
The author believes the government is considering two tactics – soft or stringent.
The soft scenario envisages that changes to the Constitution will be made in the most democratic way to avoid negative response in the country or abroad. The Constitutional Assembly headed by ex-president Leonid Kravchuk and presidential advisor Maryna Stavniychuk, which was formed last May under the auspices of the Presidential Administration, can totally cope with the task.
The stringent scenario implies a referendum “upon the people’s initiative” regarding all poignant issues, not unlike it was done in 2000. The only difference is that the results of the “popular amendments” will not have to be implemented through the national legislature. The law on a referendum that was hastily adopted last November by the previous parliament allows that.
Soft or stringent, both variants are fraught with undesirable turn of events. Malyshko reminds that Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko in his time embarked on his path to authoritarianism by holding national referendums. However, the “last dictator of Europe” then enjoyed an unprecedented popular support, while only 5.5% of Ukrainians support the incumbent Ukrainian head of state.