Archive for July 1st, 2013


Klitschko’s next big fight – The “Rule of P” and Article 103?

July 1, 2013

Regular readers of this blog over the years will be aware of my reference to the “Rule of P” every so often – the “Rule of P” being Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

It is a phrase designed – and regularly drilled into me when a young man – to insure few surprises lay ahead and that contingency plans, alternative strategies and tactics et al existed for the unexpected or statistically improbable over any major decisions made by either myself or those I worked with/for.

It is a generally sound principle, particularly in volatile or unpredictable situations or circumstances.

This brings me to the fairly real chance of Klitschko running for the Ukrainian presidency – without doubt for the past year or so he remains the most popular opposition party leader according to any opinion poll you care to look at.

If the opposition parties are to stick to their original plan – one supported by Germany but not by Ms Tymoshenko –  then the only realistic single opposition candidate based on public opinion during that past 12 months would be Klitschko.

But if we are to apply the “Rule of P” then one hopes that there are a team of lawyers preparing the ground for his presidential run.

Why? – Because within Article 103 of the Ukrainian Constitution, it states:

“A citizen of Ukraine, having reached the age of thirty-five, having the right to vote, residing in Ukraine for the past ten years prior to the day of elections, and having command of the state language may be elected President of Ukraine.”

Now I will skip over the fact I have never heard Klitschko speak in Ukrainian.  I have only ever heard him speak in Russian, German and the occasional line in English.  That is not to say he cannot, but I have never heard him do so.  Even if he doesn’t have a command of Ukrainian, he can certainly be taught it between now and 2015 if applying the “Rule of P”.

(Given the current incumbents “command of the state language“, the word “command” seems to have a large degree of elasticity.)

However, progressing logically through each qualifier within that paragrapher I do wonder whether any candidacy he may make for president will be scrutinised regarding “residing in Ukraine for the past ten years prior to the day of elections“.

Let’s be quite honest, Klitschko has spent a lot of time in Germany during his boxing career over the past 10 years and much will depend upon the definition of “residing” in a legal context.

Is residing being simply tax resident in Ukraine?  If so was Klitschko tax resident?

Is it being physically within Ukraine 183 days or more a year – for each and every year between March 2005 and March 2015 in the case of Klitschko?

Will it simply be spending more days in Ukraine than out of it over the past 10 years on average?

Quite simply the issue of “resident” needs to be addressed sooner rather than later by his legal team – and let us not forget that German immigration and millions of fans will have a pretty good idea of where and when he was training, fighting and holidaying between 2005 and 2015 – fudging the dates may prove difficult.

I have to be honest and state I would have some doubts that during the past 10 years he will have been in Ukraine and physically residing/present here for more than half the year every year – hence the need for legal clarification and early challenges prior to the elections.

I would also not assume that it would necessarily be Party of Regions who would raise the question either.  Should Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party not be the single opposition nominated candidate, I would not discount “somebody” within the Batkivshchyna Party trying to disable the Klitschko candidacy so a Tymoshenko puppet will run as the opposition candidate.

Naturally, the “Rule of P” will probably not be applied despite the fact Article 103 is an obvious challenge to any Klitschko presidency bid – and one wonders whether EU diplomats and politicians are asking UDAR whether they have considered this potential derailing of his candidacy.

You can see it coming though can’t you!

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