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Samopomich |17Aug2015 | Oksana Syroyid  [03:08]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f4Tx4_tiZw   [English]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTAmPWlZs3o   [Ukrainian]

Appeal of the Vice-speaker Oksana Syroyid on proposed changes to Constitution of Ukraine

Об'єднання Самопоміч
Published on 17 Aug 2015

[00:00 -- 01:22]
The constitution is not the property of the State. It's owned by the people, because it is an agreement that we Ukrainians have conducted in order to create the State and to protect our liberties, dignity and our rights. And that is why politicians, acting on behalf of Ukrainian people by whom they were elected, adopt or amend the constitution only for the purpose of making the State stronger or making liberties, dignity or human rights more protected. Moreover, politicians cannot change the constitution if people do not understand and do not trust to these amendments. Also, constitution cannot be changed during the war for the reason the enemy cannot use the process to conquer our State with the weapon of law. Russia has started this war against Ukraine for exactly one reason -- to force us to amend our constitution. Russia wants special orders of government  on the occupied territories in order to amnesty its militants, legalise them and by means of amendments to constitution to conquer us from the inside.
[01:22 -- 02:25]
If we adopt such amendments, we ourselves will recognise that there is no Russian occupation -- just civil war. Russia forced our international partners to accept such amendments that are favcourable to everyone, but Ukraine. Unfortunately, our President used international pressure on us in order to increase its powers. Ammendments to the constitution and decentralisation initiated by the President failed to provide local communities with additional powers. They make local communities more vulnerable and dependent on the President and prefects, but not on the people by whom they were elected. It's a pity, that initiated amendments to the constitution on judiciary fail to provide the most important -- dismissal of all corrupted judges. This means that we will continue to be judged by people who lost our trust and proved their inability to protect human dignity.
[02:25 -- 03:08]
In view of the above mentioned, we once again want to stress that the amendments to the constitution cannot be adopted, because there is a war in Ukraine. Because Ukrainians don't trust [to] these amendments. Because the amendments will not stop the war. Because such amendments will result in establishment of an authoritarian State. Because the amendments carry a great threat to the independence of our State, our liberty  and our rights. And finally, such amendments are favourable to everyone except Ukrainians.

[W.Z. 2015.08.19 -- This short 3-minute video by Oksana Syroyid recalls my own writings on constitutional issues archived on this website. Theoretically, a constitution is drawn up by the citizens of a country defining the institutions and rules by which the politicians that they elect are to govern the country. By definition, politicians must never be allowed to change the constitution unilaterally. Only citizens may initiate constitutional changes to be ratified by a referendum.

The reality in Ukraine is completely different. The recent and proposed constitutional changes reflect a power struggle amongst existing (corrupt?) politicians and institutions representing Oligarchs and organized crime. To make matters worse, the governments of the Russian Federation, Europe and the United States (also influenced and infiltrated by Oligarchs and organized crime) are attempting to dictate questionable constitutional changes to the detriment of the Ukrainian people. And these changes are to be ratified by a (corrupt?) Constitutional Court.

In my opinion, the first priority should be to eliminate corruption within the Verkhovna Rada by imposing very stringent oversight on elected Deputies:
- All Verkhovna Rada Deputies are to be placed on a PEP (Politically Exposed Person) list both inside and outside of Ukraine.
- Deputies would not be allowed to own foreign assets (such as bank accounts, equities, real estate, etc.). Non-declared assets would be confiscated.
- Spouses and dependent children would not be allowed to live or study outside of Ukraine.
- Deputies would be required to submit daily written reports of their activities to an Oversight Committee.
- All foreign travel of Deputies must be approved by and reported to the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, who would submit such information to the Oversight Committee.
- The Oversight Committee would be responsible for monitoring all activities in the Verkhovna Rada via video, audio and electronic surveillance. Any infringements would result in immediate arrest and incarceration of the perpetrator.
- Such stringent oversight of elected officials could/should be extended to the Oblast and Raion levels.

The second priority would be to set up such oversight committees in the legal field -- prosecutors and judges.]