EPDE concerned about the
Postponement of Local Elections in Kyiv
EPDE and its Ukrainian member organization OPORA are worried about consequences in realization of constitutional rights of citizens and the right on local self-government, which result from the Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
Appealing to the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, OPORA calls for urgent organization of parliamentary hearings on issues of local self-government in the capital of Ukraine – Kyiv city. Within this urgent discussion, all the interested parties, including representatives of local self-government bodies, the public, and scientists, should find a way out of this problematic situation.
Current decision taken by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine lowers public confidence in local self-government. The Article 7 of the Constitution of Ukraine provides that local self-government is recognized and guaranteed. Functioning local self-government bodies in Kyiv, which authority has already terminated, cast doubt on these guarantees and create preconditions for usurpation of power.
Termination of Kyiv Mayoral and City Council elections to 2015 hinders practical realization of constitutional rights of citizens. The Article 38 of the Constitution of Ukraine provides that citizens have the right to participate in public affairs, national and local referendums, freely elect or be elected to state government and local self-government bodies. Besides that, the Preamble of the European Charter of Local Self-Government emphasizes that citizen right on participation in public affairs can be directly exercised on local level. According to the Additional Protocol to the European Charter, signatories should secure the right of every citizen to participate in affair of local self-government bodies, within their jurisdiction. This right is also secured by participation of citizens as voters or candidates in the elections. The fact that Kyiv citizens don't have the possibility to form local self-government through the elections is in direct conflict with the rights of citizens and international standards of their securing. This conflict casts doubt upon European aspirations of Ukrainian political elite, as long as protection and strengthening of local self-governments belongs to key principles of EU development.
Local self-government is the right of territorial community to independently solve local issues. Doubtful legitimacy of local self-government bodies doesn't allow taking efficient decisions for the benefit of Kyiv citizens. Current situation will fortify undue interference of state authorities into local affairs of the capital, and make its development dependent on political interests based on momentary advantage.
See here for english version of the EPDE statement (pdf).
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 The Decision in the case upon the constitutional petition of 48 MPs of Ukraine on official interpretation of the Article 136 (2) and 141 (3) of the Constitution of Ukraine, first paragraph in the second part of the Article 14 of the Law of Ukraine on the Elections of Deputies to the Verkhovna Rada of Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Deputies of Local Councils, Village, Town and City Heads.