Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warns there might be street clashes if the chaos being created by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) has not been stopped.
He announced this in his audio address to members of the ruling Servant of the People parliamentary faction, which is available to UNIAN.
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"If we don't stop the chaos that the Constitutional Court has been creating for money, we will see clashes in the street. And, by the way, this response from society will be tough, but fair. Are we ready to put the country at stake? And if not, then together we should take responsibility and together we should restore justice and the reign of law," the president said.
The situation may escalate into bloodshed, he said.
"I know that today a strong team of friends are beside me. Now we are talking about the personal choice of each of you – either you are a force, or a dozen groups lobbying for certain interests. I believe that we must get out of the situation as winners, because we are on the side of people, on the side of the truth, on the side of progress. History doesn't judge winners. And if I decide that the solution to the crisis is possible only through the proposed law, it must be definitely supported. If we find another, less conflicting path, there will be a different solution. But so far I can only say one thing: the latest decision by the Constitutional Court, these controversial repeals of fundamental laws are a direct and quick way to bloodshed," he added.
Constitutional Court's controversial decision on illegal enrichment: Earlier developments
- On September 16, the Constitutional Court ruled that certain provisions of the law on the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) are at variance with the country's Constitution.
- In particular, the provisions on empowering the President of Ukraine to form NABU, to appoint and dismiss its director, to appoint three persons to the commission for holding a competition for the position of the bureau's director, to appoint one member of the external control commission to conduct independent assessment (audit) of NABU's effectiveness, its operational and institutional independence, and to approve the provisions on the Civil Oversight Council and the procedure for its formation were designated as unconstitutional.
- On July 28, the Constitutional Court declared a presidential decree dated April 16, 2015, on the appointment of Artem Sytnyk as NABU Director as unconstitutional. The decision was taken on a motion filed by 51 lawmakers. According to them, the then President Petro Poroshenko went beyond his constitutional powers and violated the ban on usurpation of state power. Also, the lawmakers argued that the decree contradicted the provisions of the Constitution, which contain an exhaustive list of the powers of the President of Ukraine.
- On October 27, the Constitutional Court made a decision on a motion filed by 47 Members of Parliament, having repealed Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which provided for criminal liability for inaccurate declaration by government officials of income.
- On October 28, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) closed access to the State E-Declarations Register. Yet on October 29, the Ukrainian government obliged the NACP to restore public access to the register.
- The National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said that pursuant to the Constitutional Court's decision, all cases of inaccurate declaration of assets would be closed, and government officials convicted of abuse would thus evade liability.
- President Volodymyr Zelensky tabled a bill in parliament to terminate the powers of all CCU judges. The document states, in particular, that the decision of the Constitutional Court of October 27 is "null and void" (such that it does not create legal consequences) as such that was adopted by the CCU judges in conditions of a real conflict of interests." Zelensky proposes the termination of the powers of CCU judges from the date when the law becomes effective, suggesting that subjects authorized to appoint new judges should immediately begin the procedure for the competitive selection of the court's new members.
- Various options for overcoming the constitutional crisis will be discussed at a meeting of the Servant of the People parliamentary faction on Monday, November 2. Lawmakers will discuss, among other things, the presidential draft law on the termination of the powers of Constitutional Court judges.