Today, April 8, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine issued a shameful decision, the likes of which independent Ukraine has never seen. Contrary to the Constitution, deputies of the Verkhovna Rada have been allowed to individually join a coalition of deputy factions in parliament. Essentially, the Constitutional Court carried out a political order from the new government, trampled all over the Constitution, and discredited the foundations of democracy in Ukraine.

This is even more disgraceful given the fact that this very same court, and the same panel of judges, issued a diametrically opposite decision in this case. On September 17, 2008, the Constitutional Court held that "the Constitution identifies the subjects of formation of a coalition of deputy factions – deputy factions" and that "a coalition of deputy factions is formed based on the results of election and reconciliation of political positions which consists of the majority of People’s Deputies of Ukraine who make up the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.” But on April 8, this court issued a new resolution that “individual deputies, namely those that do not belong to those deputy factions that initiated the creation of a coalition of deputy factions in the Verkhovna Rada have the right to participation in the formation of the coalition of deputy factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine."

This is not only a unique case in Ukrainian, but global constitutional court proceedings – the same court, in a span of less than two years, issued two mutually exclusive decisions.

Today the Constitutional Court committed a crime. Its ruling shows that this institution, which is supposed to uphold the Constitution, is ready to carry out any political order and easily gives in to corruption.

Several conclusions can be drawn from this:

1. Today Ukraine has neither a guarantor of the Constitution nor a Constitutional Court, as a body that is the guardian of the Basic Law.

2. It should be noted that dictators don’t appear on their own. They are bred and created by courts like this, weak and helpless elites, corrupt politicians, apathetic civil society, and indifferent media. The lack of justice and full-fledged civil society, coupled with the limited freedom of speech results in the fact that there is no public protest in response to such events, as there should be.

3. Following today’s decision by the Constitutional Court, the people’s choice, and elections in general, no longer matter. The deputies have no need for party of faction discipline and can migrate from faction to faction, from coalition to coalition, based on their own business interests, ignoring the interests of the people who elected them. Essentially, the system of political responsibility has been destroyed.

4. With its own corruption, the Constitutional Court sanctioned corruption in the Verkhovna Rada.

5. Starting today, the new government, based on the decision of the Constitutional Court, was given the unrestricted right to bribe deputies. As a result, certain factions in the Verkhovna Rada (like the Lytvyn Bloc and the communists) have been transformed into minority shareholders in the Party of Regions. The new government no longer needs their services as whole political structures.

To summarize, citizens of Ukraine and the world community can no longer rely on the Constitutional Court, which has completely disgraced and discredited itself.

With today’s decision, the Constitutional Court did not fix the situation and create conditions for political stability, as they’re trying to convince society. Quite the opposite – the problem has escalated and sooner or later will explode. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a proper reaction by politicians and society.

I appeal to the global community to provide an adequate assessment of the Constitutional Court’s decision and the actions by the new government. And I hope that the world’s democracies don’t hold double standards in this matter.

Our political force will be submitting to parliament a resolution calling for the dismissal of the Constitutional Court judges who are appointed by the Verkhovna Rada for breaking their oath. We will also appeal to the Congress of Judges to do the same with the judges that they appoint. I understand quite well that this may not happen today, but only today. Because tomorrow the country will change and give a proper assessment to such actions.

In normal, democratic, civilized countries, people don’t rule, laws and the Constitution rule. When individuals try to rule a country based on their interests, appetites and constricted outlook, this breeds dictatorship and chaos. I, based on my life, political and moral principles, just as the political force I head, will fight against chaos and dictatorship.

Yulia Tymoshenko

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