“War” if Rada sacks Constitutional Court judges, one of them claims
Zelensky has earlier tabled in Rada the bill to dismiss all Constitutional Court judges.
Constitutional Court Judge Ihor Slidenko has threatened President Volodymyr Zelensky with grave consequences if Parliament moves to pass the president’s bill on sacking all CCU judges – including “war” and the country’s “disintegration”.
The judge has commented to an UNIAN correspondent on today’s presidential audio address to the ruling Servant of the People parliamentary faction.
Answering the question on how the events will develop if Parliament gathers 226 votes to pass a bill, submitted by President, on the termination of powers of all CCU judges, Slidenko said:
“I think that further will come the disintegration of Ukraine and the war because, except for those 226, no one will recognize this. If there are attempts to seize the Constitutional Court by force, I mean the courthouse, this will mean war. There are political forces that under no circumstances will agree to such developments, to the usurpation of power.”
The judge said: “Can’t you see what’s happening? Can’t you see what the president said in his audio address?”
“It seems that someone is pushing him toward this,” the CCU judge believes.
Slidenko says Zelensky in his address to MPs “spoke enough to get a 150-year prison sentence.”
“The President publicly calls on deputies to overthrow the government system. This is no longer an invention of the NSDC that the Constitutional Court encroached on the government system. What did it encroach on? Was it by canceling Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code and saying it needs to be enhanced? It’s even embarrassing to comment on this,” Slidenko said.
Constitutional Court’s controversial moves: Background
On September 16, the Constitutional Court ruled that certain provisions of the law on the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) are at variance with the country’s Constitution.
In particular, the provisions on empowering the President of Ukraine to form NABU, to appoint and dismiss its director, to appoint three persons to the commission for holding a competition for the position of the bureau’s director, to appoint one member of the external control commission to conduct an independent assessment (audit) of NABU’s effectiveness, its operational and institutional independence and approve the provisions on the Civil Oversight Council and the procedure for its formation.
On July 28, the Constitutional Court declared a presidential decree dated April 16, 2015, on the appointment of Artem Sytnyk as NABU Director as unconstitutional. The decision was taken on a motion filed by 51 lawmakers. According to them, the then President Petro Poroshenko went beyond his constitutional powers and violated the ban on usurpation of state power. Also, the lawmakers argued that the decree contradicted the provisions of the Constitution, which contain an exhaustive list of the powers of the President of Ukraine.
On October 27, the Constitutional Court issued a ruling on a motion filed by 47 Members of Parliament, having repealed Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which provided for criminal liability for inaccurate declaration by government officials of income.
On October 28, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) shut down access to the State E-Declarations Register. Yet on October 29, the Ukrainian government obliged the NACP to restore such access.
NABU said that pursuant to the Constitutional Court’s decision, all cases of inaccurate declaration of assets would be closed, and government officials convicted of abuse would thus evade liability.
President Volodymyr Zelensky tabled a bill in parliament to terminate the powers of all CCU judges. The document states, in particular, that the decision of the Constitutional Court of October 27 is “null and void” (such that it does not create legal consequences) as such that was adopted by the CCU judges in conditions of a real conflict of interests.” Zelensky proposes the termination of the powers of CCU judges from the date when the law becomes effective, suggesting that subjects authorized to appoint new judges should immediately begin the procedure for the competitive selection of the court’s new members.
In an audio address to members of the ruling Servant of the People parliamentary faction, Volodymyr Zelensky has called on them to support the bill on dismissing all CCU judges: “If we don’t stop the chaos that the Constitutional Court has been creating for money, we will see clashes in the street.”