Archive for February 16th, 2010

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Presidential or Parliamentary Governance?

February 16, 2010

Well dear readers, whilst Ms Tymoshenko is challenging the now official result of Mr Yanukovych winning the presidential race, there is more than one way to skin a cat…….

Interfax-Ukraine The Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYT) has proposed creating a working group to draft amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine and hold a nationwide referendum so as to determine which form of government Ukrainians would like to have.

“We think that our proposal is constructive. Now nothing prevents us from creating a working group, because there are a lot of proposals about constitutional amendments,” BYT faction leader Ivan Kyrylenko said at a briefing on Monday.

He stressed the need to consult with the people and conduct a referendum on a single issue – whether the Ukrainians support a presidential or parliamentary form of government.

“We think that that there is a post that is unnecessary in the state,” Kyrylenko said, without saying which post he meant.

Hmmmm – of course the post which is not necessary in the State would be the one which Ms Tymoshenko does not hold, namely President if she cannot overturn the decision…..which it is likely she won’t…….or Prime Minister if she can.

Now even before the election, Ms Tymoshenko, Mr Yanukovych, Mr Yushenko, Mr Tigipko, Mr Yatseniuk, Mr Lytvyn and any other candidate and party you can mention have all stated the current Ukrainian constitution needs re-writting.

At the moment, due to some seriously misguided and actually piss poor horse trading when Mr Yushenko took power in 2005, the roles of Parliament and President overlap in more places than they do not.

The power of the Executive and the power of the Legislature do actually need seperating.  That much everyone agrees on, however no politician has called for the scrapping of office of President or Prime Minister.

Quite how you can have a parliament without a Prime Minister I am not sure as the legislature needs a figurehead and regardless of the title given, that figurehead is in effect the prime minister……even if the are officially titled “Head Ruber Stamper”.

It will be very interesting to see what systems are proposed by which parties over the next months actually.

Obviously the UK does not have a “President” but it does have a Head of State in HM Queen, albeit she is very much symbolic and does actually have some power, she is predominantly a figurehead and does not set policy home or abroad.  This is the responsibility of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

France of course has a President and a Prime Minister.  10 bonus points to a reader who can name the Prime Minister of France without the aid of a search engine……but no bonus points for knowing Sarkozy is the President of France.

There are quite a few systems in Europe, some of which have President and Prime Minsiter and then others with only Prime Minister…….all of which seem to muddle along OK……with or without a written constitution.

Then again, the majority of these countries are not as new to “democracy” as Ukraine.  They also do not suffer from such “open” corruption…..excepting Bulgaria and Romania…..or the personal hatred as Ukraine has amongst it’s politicians.

I am not sure that there needs to be the removal of either post to be honest, although I am also not sure there is a need for both roles either.

What I am absolutely certain of, as is any serious politician in Ukraine, the constitution here is in serious need of revision……or completely scrapping and starting again…….where the executive and the legilature have specific and clear boundaires with no overlaps to cause the current political farce to continue unabated.

Unfortunately to arrive at a constitution which serves Ukraine and not those which will write the constitution is a particularly big ask given the likely authors.

The only politician to have submitted a constitutional reform so far has been the out-going President Yushenko…..but to say it is “flawed” is somewhat of an understatement.  

Anyway, it is too early to look towards Ms Tymoshenko’s party’s ideas of which office should go……until she is told her court actions have failed…….when of course, then office of President, which she is fighting so hard to get……becomes surplus to the requirements of a democratic Ukraine.  

Strange that!

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