Archive for February 2nd, 2011


Abstention is a weak way out?

February 2, 2011

Well dear readers, only a few days ago I commented upon Yulia Tymoshenko talking about constitutional changes.  As she famously said, the country was ungovernable under the existing Constitution……well it was ungovernable under the Constitution given her fractious relationship with then President Victor Yushenko.

It seems to have been governable thus far, when the President and Parliament are not consistently at each others throats however.

Anyway, not forgetting her calls for Constitutional reform/change, or any other major politician in the Presidential race of 2010 for that matter, we now start to see just why, a few days ago, Ms Tymoshenko is in favour of increasing the votes needed to change the Constitution.  It seems, as I cynically pointed out, her party voting for or against is irrelevant when only 2/3 must be in favour of any change.

See for yourself:

The Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko faction will not take part in the vote to amend the Constitution of Ukraine so as to change the term of the president and the parliament.

“My position is that the amendments to the constitution should be done in line with the procedure envisaged by the constitution [itself],” Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Mykola Tomenko of the BYT said at a press conference on Monday.

“I don’t know what the intention of the majority is, but as far as I know, the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense [faction] doesn’t intend to add to the number of people who voted [for the amendments to the constitution] at first reading. Meanwhile, the BYT doesn’t intend to vote for the amendments to the constitution at all,” he added.

“I still think that they have 300 votes, but no more than 320 votes,” Tomenko said.

At least 300 votes are needed to pass amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine

This seems like another Pontius Pilate moment when Ms Tymoshenko’s party recognise the need for Constitutional change, but as they are an irrelevance when it comes to blocking any vote and not any help in passing one either, they are going to wash their hands of any result by abstaining from the vote.

Once again, Ms Tymoshenko’s party seem to be hiding rather than actually going on record (voting for or against) something that has the potential of serious repercussions in the very foundation of Ukrainian law.

The “washing of hands” is not really something a “major” political force is expected to do over such a core issue if it had a “position” on such a fundamental issue.   Then again, it is unclear what “position” her party has on almost every issue.

What inference can you draw from an official “washing of hands”?

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