8 Feb 2019 19:02

Ukrainian opposition seeking abrogation of law setting course toward NATO, EU membership to file complaint with constitutional court

KYIV. Feb 8 (Interfax) - Ukrainian MPs from the Opposition Bloc faction are initiating a complaint to the Constitutional Court, seeking abrogation of constitutional amendments that set Ukraine's political course toward joining the EU and the NATO; the amendments were passed in violation of procedural rules, they say.

"Remember, the Law on Principles of State Language Policy [which the Verkhovna Rada adopted on July 3, 2012] was abrogated by the Constitutional Court a year ago for the same reason, [as deputies acted out of] compulsion to press the buttons [of voting machines]. That ruling has a precedential effect. So the Opposition Block will file a constitutional complaint about this gross violation of the Basic Law with the Constitutional Court," faction head Vadym Novynsky said when speaking from the rostrum of parliament at a Verkhovna Rada plenary session on Friday.

The rules were violated when the Ukrainian parliament voted for that bill, as there were cases where MPs voted for others, he said.

Novynsky complained that the Verkhovna Rada's office had refused to register the draft resolution canceling the vote, which he authored. He described the arguments invoked in support of the refusal as a cynical misinterpretation of law rules. "They say the process of passing constitutional amendments is not regulated by the House Rules general provisions that apply to other kinds of bills. But this doesn't mean that such dubious constitutional amendments [...] may be passed in violation of constitutional procedures by pushing the buttons just like that," Novynsky said.

On February 7, 334 Verkhovna Rada members voted to adopt in general the bill submitted by the Ukrainian president on amendments to the Constitution to set the country's strategic course toward Kyiv's full EU and NATO membership. Speaker Andriy Parubiy signed the bill on the same day.