My fellow citizens,

I would like to comment onrecent developments [ in Ukraine ]. I am very worried about the situation in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. It is paralyzed and demoralized. As guarantor of the constitution, I cannot accept this. I have always believed and will always believe the Constitutional Court must be the country’s honest and responsible constitutional arbiter.

I have repeatedly talked about what I see as three paramount principles of its work.

First of all, the court must adhere to Ukraine’s constitution.

Second, it must be apolitical.

Third, it must produce competent rulings which guarantee the rule of law.

You know well that I was demanding for two years that the Constitutional Court resume its work, blocked by the Verkhovna Rada. However, the convened court did nothing because of political intrigues. It has not produced – and I would like to stress that – a single ruling in the past year. Its unprecedented indecision has undermined its authority and cast doubt on the competence of some of its judges. Furthermore, some ofthem have been accused of large-scale corruption.

A request to rule on the legality of the imperative mandate law, preventing deputies from switching factions once in office, was sent to the Constitutional Court in October 2006. The court has to rule on the constitutionality of any law within three months. The Constitutional Court has not done it in the past eight months, thus violating the law it mustprotect.

The absence of rulings and inactivity have contributed to the country’s present political crisis.

I want to say unambiguously that this poses a threat to your rights and freedoms, my esteemed compatriots, as well as to the functioning of state institutions and the country’s political system. I object to this.

I decided to dismiss three judges [of the Constitutional Court] for violating their oath and appointed new judges. I acted quickly and openly to save the court from failure.

Outrageous and disgraceful technologies have been used to engage the court in the ongoing political conflict. Violating laws, several local courts, situated far away from Kyiv, attempted to rescind the President’s decrees. This helped the sacked judges restore themselves and elect an illegitimate chairman of the Constitutional Court. The only body of constitutional jurisdiction then adoptedan unconstitutional decision to appoint judges to administrative posts.

This step has ruined all hopes that those who have to be flawless arbiters are impartial. It is time one should stop this chaos.

I admit that the Constitutional Court is losing its constitutional legitimacy and cannot perform its functions to preserve the rule of law in such conditions. Thus I demand that the Prosecutor General’s Office immediately react to the situation in the Constitutional Court. I demand that the Supreme Court take measures to stop the practice of using court rulings for political benefit. I am calling on all political forces to stop exerting pressure on the Constitutional Court.

I believe the Ukrainian people will support my plea and my stance. My fellowUkrainians, I firmly count on your understanding and support. I see progress in talks to hold early parliamentary elections. They will be conducted very soon. You – each Ukrainian voter – will be the main victor in this crisis. Together we will achieve all our goals. Your hope creates my resolution, president's press office reported.


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