On June 11, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine began considering a deputy submission claiming that the President’s decree dated May 21, 2019, was unconstitutional. The presidential decree resolves to end the powers of the Verkhovna Rada ahead of schedule and schedules a snap parliamentary election for July 21.
A group of deputies who took part in the session of Parliament believe that the decree violates the principle of legal certainty, an important element of the supremacy of law, because it lacks adequate evidence to support reasons for the pre-term ending of Parliament authorities. According to point 1 of the first part of Article 90 of the Constitution, the President does not ascertain the presence or absence of the coalition of deputy factions at the Verkhovna Rada. But he issues a decree within a month since the day the coalition stops working provided the availability of the juridical fact - the absence of a deputy coalition.
The argument presented in support of the ahead-of-schedule stopping of the Verkhovna Rada’s powers – “the low level of trust in Parliament” – is rather questionable from the standpoint of democratic principles of forming the representative bodies of power and therefore cannot be considered the sufficient ground for dismissing Parliament because such an argument cannot be found in any normative and legal act. Consequently, it is politically motivated.
Volodymyr Zelensky who attended the morning session of the Court noted in his short address to the judges that his decision to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada is in line with the letter and spirit of the law. He pointed to the fact that Ukrainian citizens have a low level of confidence in Parliament and that the people supports the decision to disband the Verkhovna Rada. “It is not for me to tell you what the spirit and letter of the law mean. I am sure that the decision on the dissolution of Parliament corresponds to both of these criteria”.
In his words, the compliance with the “spirit of the law” is evidenced by many factors. The citizens of Ukraine have lost faith in the Verkhovna Rada and applaud the decision of its dissolution. “The society watches this matter very closely. And you know this very well. I believe that you will make an objective decision for which you won’t feel ashamed before the people, the entire Ukraine and before our children”, said Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Constitutional Court will continue studying the deputy submission behind the closed doors. And by June 29th they will have to pass an uneasy decision.
Not long ago, on May 21, Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on the early cessation of Parliament powers and setting the date for a snap election on July 21. Three days later, on May 24, members of the faction “People’s Front” brought in a submission stating that the presidential decree on Parliament dissolution was not in line with the Constitution of Ukraine. The submission was signed by 62 people’s deputies. They requested the Constitutional Court to open a constitutional proceeding on the submission and consider it during a month as an urgent case. The submission also requested the Court to recognize the presidential decree on the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada and a snap election to Parliament as unconstitutional.