Zelensky blames oligarchs for the constitutional crisis  / Photo from UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky considers a recent decision by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) to abolish e-declarations to be a demarche and a public manifestation of a conspiracy by the old elites against the president and the country.

He shared his opinion on Telegram on November 1.

"I know for sure that today's demarche of the Constitutional Court is a public manifestation of a conspiracy by some of the old elites and oligarchs against the president and against the country. Not otherwise. Specifically against. Because only a weak president and a weak state are guarantees that their corrupt way of life will be preserved. They can't act the other way," Zelensky wrote.

According to him, the Constitutional Court in an expedited manner began to consider and repeal the fundamental laws. "The entire anti-corruption [system]. NABU [National Anti-corruption Bureau], which we've provided with opportunities. The NACP [National Agency on Corruption Prevention], which has begun to meticulously look into who and how much earns and spends. Next in line is the High Anti-Corruption Court itself, which will put top thieves behind bars. Well, the old elites do not want to face the consequences. They do not want to pay bills for their champagne and caviar lifestyle lived without any control," Zelensky said.

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."