to the President of Ukraine and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
On July 16, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine supported the initiated by the President of Ukraine process of changing the Constitution of Ukraine in terms of decentralization of authority powers.
In the bill proposed by the President of Ukraine, except the rules on proper implementation of decentralization and administrative reform, in paragraph 18 of the Transitional Provisions provides that the characteristics of local governments in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are defined by a separate law.
Such wording of this paragraph of the Transitional Provisions was the result of so-called Minsk agreements. By nature this document is not international agreement and does not give rise to any legal obligations for Ukraine. Moreover, it contradicts the generally accepted rules of international law, has unconstitutional character and unilateral political concessions, that were imposed by Moscow as aggressor. Inclusion in the Constitution of Ukraine and the further implementation of the requirements of these arrangements for a special procedure for local government in some regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions will lead to the legalization of established by Russian Federation criminal terrorist entities “DNR” and “LNR” and force the way for local elections on the occupied territories of Ukraine, providing official status to Russian language, amnesty to terrorists, forming the so-called “people’s militia”, funding all expenditures of the occupied territories from the Ukrainian budget etc.
It will continue the implementation of Putin’s plan aimed at destroying the constitutional order and independence of Ukraine, blocking its course towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration, it will cause geopolitical subordination to the dictates of Russia.
Hasty adoption of cganges to the Constitution under the pressure of foreign states and without proper discussion in the Ukrainian society is the disregard of the will of the Ukrainian people, who have the exclusive right to determine and change the constitutional order of Ukraine.
Without denying the need for decentralization of authorities and providing the administrative-territorial reforms in Ukraine we believe that in current conditions when ongoing aggression of the Russian Federation in the country has caused martial law, to make any changes to the Constitution is unacceptable.
Therefore, we demand from the President of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine a moratorium on making any changes to the Constitution of Ukraine.
The reason for this moratorium is the requirement provided in paragraph 2 of Article 157 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which establishes that the Constitution can not be changed in conditions of martial law or a state of emergency.
This article is not about the request to the Head of State for publication of formal act of martial law, but about the existence of conditions of existence of martial law. List of martial law conditions is in the Law of Ukraine “On legal regime of martial law” of May 12, 2015. All conditions specified therein and the elements take place in Ukraine. They were formed objectively, gave rise to legal relations and implications of this state. Proof of this is the adoption and implementation of a number of laws and regulations that meet the requirements of the Act.
In these circumstances:
President of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine must provide a moratorium on changing the Constitution of Ukraine until from the territory of Ukraine will be withdrawn foreign troops, disbanded illegal irregular militias so-called “DNR” and “LNR”, restored the sovereignty of Ukraine on all temporarily occupied territories of the State, established by Ukraine control throughout all lines of the Ukrainian-Russian state border.
In case of inclusion of the proposed by the President of Ukraine changes to the Constitution to their approval by a majority of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada deputies of Ukraine, we urge to delete paragraph 18 of the transitional provisions of the draft changes to the Constitution of Ukraine.
In the case of final approval by a majority of constitutional changes to the Constitution of Ukraine, which provide for the legal establishment features self-government in the occupied territories, and the signing of the law by President of Ukraine, put the question of responsibility of the President of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
In this case, we call on the Ukrainian society to make a broad patriotic opposition and provide active civil actions based on the fact that under Article 5 of the Constitution of Ukraine the people is the bearer of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine. The right of people to determine and change the constitutional order in Ukraine can not be usurped by the state, its authorities or officials.
We call on political parties and public organizations, and all citizens of Ukraine who consider unacceptable changes to the Constitution of Ukraine under the dictates of the state-aggressor, to support this Appeal.
Kyiv, August 13, 2015
1. Dmytro Pavlychko, poet, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, Hero of Ukraine;
2. Yuriy Shcherbak, writer, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine;
3. Volodymyr Vasylenko, Doctor of Law, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, member of the Constitutional Commission;
4. Igor Yukhnovskyi, academician, Hero of Ukraine;
5. Myroslav Popovych, academician, director of the Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine;
6. Vyacheslav Bryukhovetskiy, Honorary President of National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, Hero of Ukraine;
7. Ivan Tymchenko, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (1996-1999.), Member of the Constitutional Commission;
8. Mykola Kozyubra, Judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (1996-2003.), Member of the Constitutional Commission;
9. Viktor Shyshkin, a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (2006-2015.);
10. Volodymyr Ohryzko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2007-2009.);
11. Bohdan Yaremenko, diplomat and chairman of the charity fund “Maidan of Foreign Affairs”;
12. Stepan Khmara, a former political prisoner, Hero of Ukraine;
13. Levko Lukyanenko, a former political prisoner, Hero of Ukraine;
14. Taras Stetskiv, politician, public activist, deputy of Ukraine I-IV and VI convocations, RP;
15. Ivan Zayets, politician, deputy of Ukraine I-IV and VI convocations;
16. Mykhaylo Basarab, political scientist;
17. Oleksandr Skipalsky, chairman of the All-Ukrainian public organization “Union of Officers of Ukraine,” Lieutenant-General;
18. Oleh Rybachuk, social activist, founder and head of the NGO “Centre UA», one of the initiators of the civil campaign “New Citizen”.
19. Oleg Berezyuk, head of the NGO “Ukrainian Law Society”;
20. Victor Zherditsky, banker, financier, RP;
21. Andriy Maksymets, public activist, RP;
22. Pavlo Zhovnirenko, Chairman of the Center for Strategic Studies;
23. Serhiy Datsyuk, philosopher;
24. Taras Voznyak, philosopher, political scientist, editor-in-chief and founder of the Independent Cultural Journal “Ї”;
25. Yuriy Romanenko, political scientist, chief editor of analytical portal “Hvylya”;
26. Igor Markov, Ph.D., Institute of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine;
27. Danylo Kurdelchuk, Honored Lawyer of Ukraine, President of the Ukrainian Foreign Legal College “Ukriniurkoleguia”;
28. Volodymyr Tsybulko, writer, political analyst, deputy of Ukraine of IV convocation;
29. Vadym Triukhan, diplomat, Director of the Coordination Bureau for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration (2008-2010.);
30. Andiy Klymenko, a journalist, chief editor of Internet portal «BlackSeaNews»;
31. Grygoriy Perepelytsya, Doctor of Political Sciences;
32. Pavlo Movchan, head of the All-Ukrainian association “Enlightenment” Taras Shevchenko;
33. Lyubov Holota, writer, editor in chief of “Slovo Prosvity”;
34. Oleh Chornohuz, writer;
35. Natalia Osmak, public activist, the daughter of the first President UHVR;
36. Irina Mahrytska, Commander of the Order of Princess Olha, chairman of Lugansk regional branch of the Association of researchers famines in Ukraine, internal emigrant (Ivano-Frankivsk);
37. Oleksandr Kramarenko, Honored Journalist of Ukraine, writer and director of the documentary film “Spell of unconsciousness. Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Luhansk Oblast”, forced migrant;
38. Oleg Martynenko, Doctor of Law, Professor, Director of the NGO “Center for the Study of Law Enforcement”;
39. Volodymyr Panchenko, Vice President of National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
… and others
Note: Tomorrow, on August 31, 2015, several political parties and NGOs plan protests against changes to the constitution. Many Ukrainians believe that to change the constitution means to meet the requirements of Putin. In fact, Putin said on June 19, 2015:
We believe to resolve is needed, as I said, to fulfill Minsk Agreements. And the key point here, of course, are elements of political settlement. They consist of several components.
The first is a constitutional reform, and in Minsk Agreements is written so right about it: to the provision of autonomy or, as they say on the decentralization of power, even by decentralization. Clearly, what it means – our European partners, the French and Germans deciphered, we are satisfied, as are satisfied in whole representatives of Donbas.