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politics@infoukes.com | 19Aug2015 | Will Zuzak
http://www.infoukes.com/lists/politics/2015/08/0371.html

Oksana Syroyid on proposed changes to Constitution of Ukraine

The short 3-minute video by Oksana Syroyid that I just archived on my website recalls my own writings on constitutional issues. 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.

Any comments and suggestions by subscribers to Infoukes?

Respectfully submitted
Will Zuzak; 2015.08.19

[This article shall be archived at http://www.willzuzak.ca/tp/wllzzk/zuzak20150819SyroyidConstitution.html .]


[W.Z. 2015.08.22 -- Surprisingly, no Infoukes subscribers have as yet made comments or suggestions on this issue. Should any readers wish to make serious proposals as how to enforce stringent oversight on the Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, send them to me at mozuz@telusplanet.net and I will be pleased to append them to the bottom of this article.]


[ADDENDUM 2015.09.01:  In response to the controversy surrounding the proposed constitutional changes raised by Ms. Syroyid and other Ukrainian intellectuals, a demonstration in front of the Vekhovna Rada was organized for 31Aug2015. The demonstration turned violent, a grenade was thrown, presumably gunshots were fired -- resulting in 3 deaths and 150 people wounded including 130 law enforcement officers, 3 journalists and 11 other civilians. There have been many interrogations, detentions and arrests. Investigation into the incident continues.]


In response to my 02Sep2015 GRC Report, W.K. made the following comment:
Thanks for this latest information, Will.  I just wonder who is going to oversee the “over-seers” and who will control the over-seers themselves?  The whole situation appears to be a total disaster and a tragedy of the most disappointing and dreadful consequences -- with the potential for unimagined further consequences for the world at large.

to which I responded:
I would suggest that the “over-seers” (members of the Oversight Committee) be volunteer citizens serving as individuals or as representatives of various  organizations and institutions that are not connected to the government, the various political parties or the Oligarchs. They would be selected by scientific polls conducted by 3 independent polling organizations (such as the Razumkov Centre). (The top 5 from a list of 15?) They would be appointed for a period of 2 years on a rotating basis. They would be responsible for disseminating information to the public and to receiving information from the public of perceived violations. The Oversight Committee must have the right of ordering detention and arrest, although it is not clear which security organization would be best suited for this function.

I agree with you that the political situation in Ukraine is a disaster, but until Ukrainian citizens can exercise control over their elected representatives, there is little hope for improvement.