Archive for January 31st, 2011


Constitutional Change – Tymoshenko speaks

January 31, 2011

Ukraine’s ex-Prime Minister and leader of the Batkivschyna Party Yulia Tymoshenko has proposed constitutional amendments which she said will give citizens real levers to defend their rights and liberties.

“The nation must rally around a common vision of new, effective and just rules for organizing its life. But these rules must be laid down in a new constitution, not in advertising posters, and the constitution should be changed in the future by three quarters [337] of the votes in parliament, not by two thirds [300],” Tymoshenko said in an interview with the online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda.

The new constitution must have mechanisms to defend the citizens’ rights and liberties, not only declare them, as well as mechanisms for citizens to have permanent influence on all branches of authority, not only during an election campaign, she said.

“The new constitution must also ensure the right balance between the branches of authority and offer a mechanism preventing their authoritarian merger into one ‘stick.'” Tymoshenko said.

The constitution must also ensure a working system of fair courts, and also citizens, executives and elected persons’ equal liability before the law. Public television and radio are a must and sealed in the constitution, Tymoshenko said.

Well dear readers, I agree with Ms Tymoshenko that there is a need to change the Constitution of Ukraine…….as does Viktor Yanukovych, Sergiy Tigipko Arseniy Yatensuik and every other runner for President last year.

However, I think the 2/3 majority which has always been the threshold is fairly reasonable whereas 3/4 majority is likely to be completely unattainable when there is a need for further Constitutional change.

The 3/4 majority would put the majority at the mercy of a minority of some fairly obstructive elements, amongst them the communists and the nationalists who are of course literally poles apart……and to be fair, the way Ms Tymoshenko and her party are falling down the opinion polls, it would insure she (and her party) remained relevant in such fundamental decisions, which being cynical as I am, is probably the reason for her call to increase the number of “Yeahs” to number of “Nay’s”.

Still, she is right about the need for Constitutional reforms.

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