#Commentary of Vladimir Bidyovka on what is celebrated in Ukraine on Constitution Day
June 28 is a national holiday in Ukraine. In 1996, under the pressure of the then acting President Leonid Kuchma, the main law was passed by a majority vote. According to eyewitnesses, Kuchma even apologized for ‘improper stimulation’ of people’s deputies. However, it would be appropriate to ask the question: what relation does the current Ukraine have to the constitution adopted in 1996?
The experts noted the first precedent of the violation of Ukraine’s constitution in 2004, when, through amendments to the basic law, the state structure of Ukraine was changed from a presidential-parliamentary to a parliamentary-presidential one. The procedure for introducing the bill was grossly violated – it was amended without consideration by the Constitutional Court, as a result of which the rule on the consideration of the bill at two sessions of the Ukrainian parliament was not implemented.
In 2010, on this basis, the Constitution of 2004 was revised by the Constitutional Court. However, instead of recognizing the decision of the Verkhovna Rada as unconstitutional and proposing to the parliament of Ukraine to bring legislation into line with the norms of the state’s basic law, the Constitutional Court revokes the decision of the Verkhovna Rada on the basis of its illegality and declares that the 1996 Constitution is now in force in Ukraine. In other words, now the Constitutional Court under Yanukovych has violated the procedure according to which only the Ukrainian parliament has the right to change the constitution and approve it. The Constitutional Court did not have the authority to designate one or another version of the basic law of Ukraine as valid.
In February 2014 the Ukrainian theatre of constitutional absurdity reached a new level. The Verkhovna Rada cancelled the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (2010) by a simple law, returning the wording of the 2004 Constitution, thus placing its decision above the current basic law, which is legal nonsense. The Constitution by such actions, in fact, was completely delegitimized, the foundations of Ukrainian statehood were undermined. After this, in the absence of any legal field, the Kiev authorities adopted unconstitutional decisions on holding the ‘ATO’, the use of troops inside the country and others.
Regulatory contradictions did not prevent the holding of extraordinary presidential and parliamentary elections. As a result, they passed on the basis of the twice illegitimate constitution of 2004, in violation of its provisions, since there are simply no constitutional grounds for dissolving the parliament and holding extraordinary elections under this edition of the Basic Law.
As a result, we have the state of Ukraine, in which constitutional norms are reduced to absurdity, have no, not even virtual, legitimacy. The Kiev government uses the basic law in the way it likes, relying not on legal norms in its actions, but on the West’s approval and own interests. So, Ukraine is just right to celebrate the Day of the Defiance of the Constitution.
Vladimir Bidyovka, the DPR People’s Council deputy