Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lavrynovych: Yushchenko's Impeachment Before Next Presidential Elections Depends On The Parliament

KIEV, Ukraine -- The current parliament may initiate impeachment procedures before the presidential elections, according to the first vice speaker of the parliament of Ukraine, Oleksandr Lavrynovych.

Oleksandr Lavrynovych

"Ukraine needs to hold parliamentary and presidential elections as soon as possible. Does anyone still believe nowadays that the current president can take any decisions that can help Ukraine get out of crisis?" he said on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

The first vice speaker also said that the impeachment procedure might not last a long time.

"This depends on the political responsibility and qualifications of the people working in the special commission and those who wear the judges' robes in the Constitutional and Higher Courts. It could be really fast," he said.

Lavrynovych said that the law on special, temporary parliamentary commissions, which provides the mechanism for conducting an impeachment of the president, might be enacted in the nearest future.

According to the first vice speaker, after that, this law may be amended to improve its quality.

On January 15, parliament passed a law on temporary investigation commissions and ad hoc temporary investigation commissions.

The law foresees that proceedings to impeach the president for alleged high treason be based on an appeal to be signed by a minimum parliamentary majority of 300 deputies, who would be prohibited from withdrawing their signatures from the document.

The president returned the law to the Verkhovna Rada with his proposals.

Yushchenko believes that the law grants overly broad powers to the parliamentary commissions, including those that pertain only to bodies of pre-trial inquiry.

The head of state noted that the law endows these commissions with powers similar to those of independent law-enforcement bodies, with virtually non-restricted powers.

The president said that according to the Constitution, the goal of investigation commissions is not bringing people to account, but preparing and make a preliminary examination of the issues, and the commission's conclusions don't play the key role in court decisions.

Source: Kyiv Post

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