09:55 04 Nov 2020

Arakhamia with deputies brought a statement to CCU requesting judges to resign

photo: Ukrinform

The head of the Servant of the People party, Davyd Arakhamia, along with other people's deputies, brought a statement to the Constitutional Court signed the day before by over 200 parliamentarians appealing to 11 judges of the Constitutional Court who voted for the decision on the anti-corruption reform to resign voluntarily.

Ukrinform reports

арахамія під ксу

photo: Ukrinform

"It's a political statement aimed at calling on 11 judges, not all judges. I stress that there are judges who didn't vote for the decision to abolish a very important anti-corruption reform, in particular, electronic declaration. We want them to understand that the people's deputies are the subjects of the legislative initiative delegated by society and that now we have no trust in the judges after such rulings. We urge them to resign voluntarily," Arakhamia said at a briefing near the Constitutional Court building.

He clarified that 226 people's deputies signed the statement.

According to the politician, if judges ignore the statement of parliamentarians and don't resign, the next step will be a series of legislative initiatives that should prevent further rulings of the Constitutional Court, which "could destroy the independent anti-corruption infrastructure."

"They (judges of the Constitutional Court – ed.) are considering the constitutionality of the High Anti-Corruption Court's work in their program. It could directly lead to the suspension of visa-free travel to the EU. I think the Ukrainian people will not forgive such decisions. In fact, some law drafts temporarily block the work of the Constitutional Court. Some law drafts, including the presidential one, are aimed at completely reloading the composition altogether. We will define it as a parliament," Arakhamia said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Servants of the People party noted that voting for the presidential law draft, which proposes dismissing the entire CCU, is the harshest scenario.

"Since the President's law draft is the harshest scenario, we didn't consider it in the committee yesterday. We are now following a more diplomatic path. But it all depends on the reaction of the Constitutional Court," Arakhamia said.

Yaroslav Zhelezniak, deputy head of the Voice party, who also joined the group at the Constitutional Court, added that a law draft had been introduced in the Verkhovna Rada to increase the Constitutional Court's quorum to 17 judges. In his opinion, it'll be a safeguard for the CCU work, which "may be directed against the Ukrainian people."

"As far as I know, colleagues in the parliament register two-thirds of the votes on rulings (of the Constitutional Court – ed.). There are law drafts that return electronic declaration. I think that soon we will introduce these law drafts and vote, together with the parliament, regardless of political preferences. I hope that we will return the electronic declaration soon," Zhelezniak said.

To recap, on October 27, the Constitutional Court repealed Art. 366-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on criminal liability for entering inaccurate data in the declaration, and also declared the powers of the NAPC to control and verify declarations, their round-the-clock access to the register of declarations, and lifestyle monitoring unconstitutional.

The NAPC stated that the judges made the relevant decision in their own interests. According to the anti-corruption agency, two members of the CCU entered inaccurate data in their declarations and are now probably trying to avoid responsibility.

In turn, the Constitutional Court stated about "constant pressure" from anti-corruption bodies.

Because of the Constitutional Court's decision, Volodymyr Zelenskyi convened a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on October 29 to determine measures for the state's immediate response to new threats and challenges to national security and defense. The meeting decided to restore public access to the Unified State Register of Declarations; ensure special NAPC inspections;  to ensure NAPC access to registers and databases by state bodies and local self-government bodies.

In addition, Zelenskyi introduced an urgent law draft "On the restoration of public confidence in the constitutional judiciary" (№4288) in the Verkhovna Rada, which proposes to terminate the powers of the current composition of the Constitutional Court.

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