7 threats of the proposed by the President amendments to the Constitution

1. Offered not by the people of Ukraine but imposed from the outside.

Politicians have no right to amend the Constitution if the people don’t know and don’t understand the proposed changes. These changes were designed hastily behind the scenes. In the working groups one text of amendments was discussed, and then the absolutely different one, developed by a mythical “secretariat”, was introduced to the Parliament. These changes were designed not by the people of Ukrainian, not by their legal representative, but by the Presidential Administration under the pressure from the outside and for the convenience of everybody but the very Ukrainians.

2. Approved by those judges of the Constitutional Court who blessed the usurpation of power by Yanukovych.

Consideration of the Constitutional Court was unprecedentedly hasty and of a purely biased and formal character. Despite the fact that changes to the Constitution of Ukraine affect the rights and obligations of every citizen, there were no appropriate hearings in the Constitutional Court, none of the citizens, scientists, experts or deputies could even express their opinion.

3. Will not lead to the promised decentralization.

“Samopomich” supports decentralization; however, the proposed changes do not give the communities more powers. On the contrary, the central power will be immensely represented in cities and towns and will be furtherly strengthened through the powers of the President to strip the mayors and councils of their powers. Nowhere in the democratic countries the head of a state controls the local government, either through his representatives (prefects) or by terminating the powers of mayors and councils. Therefore, adoption of the proposed changes will significantly worsen the situation with the local government, and without a strong local government the country will be once again trapped with authoritarianism.

4. Grant a “special status” for the occupied Donbas and undermine the sovereignty.

They are trying to convince us there is no special status for Donbas in the Constitution and the provision “On special procedure of local government in some areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions” is just a “formality” and a “necessary conditions of peace”. But this is just another name that does not change the essence. A separate law “on special procedure of local government” will let the “leaders” of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions influence the appointments of judges and prosecutors, create the so-called people’s militia units ostensibly to maintain order.

Such privileges can be called “the peculiarities of local government”, not “the special status”, but actually this does not change anything; either the war has not ceased to be a war just because it is called the anti-terrorist operation.

In addition, one should understand that “some areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions” are the occupied territories, therefore any powers given to them are the powers given to the occupiers. Making these changes to the Constitution will turn the war waged and supported by Russia into a conventional civil war, in which Ukraine as a party will never be able to seek support from other states.

5. Pave the way for the legalization of the militants and bringing the terrorists to power.

De facto, the changes to the Constitution legitimize “the Minsk Agreement”, and if the Verkhovna Rada adopts them, the next step will be the amnesty for the Russian military and the separatists for which the Parliament will vote. The international partners are already talking about the importance of holding elections in the occupied territories along with the all-Ukrainian local elections, those on October 25. However, nobody mentions that a cynical condition for holding the local elections in Donbas is amnesty for serious criminals. This is a tough requirement of the item №5 of the Minsk Agreement, and the appropriate steps have already been taken! This refers to the so-called amnesty law (bill №5082 from September 16, 2014), according to which such serious crimes as terrorism financing, initiation and conduct of war, torturing, hostage-taking, and looting will be absolved.

6. Are introduced during the armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine.

According to the second part of Article 157 of the Constitution of Ukraine, it is prohibited to amend the Constitution under the conditions of a martial law or a state of emergency. We shall recall that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by its Resolution №129 of January 27, 2015 recognized the Russian Federation as an aggressor state. In the circumstances of armed aggression against Ukraine and actual occurrence of the combat operations on the territory of our country – any amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine are unacceptable. It would have been wise to impose a moratorium on amending the Constitution of Ukraine in time of the armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine.

7. Amendments to the Constitution will not save us from the aggression of Russia, but will allow it to conquer us from within.

It was to make us change our Constitution that Russia started the war with Ukraine. The Kremlin strives for a special procedure of the local government in the occupied territories to conquer us from within. That is why Russia has made our international partners agree to such changes that are beneficial to everybody but the very Ukrainians. Western partners who insist on the necessity of amending the Constitution, as a condition of the Minsk agreements do not give an answer to a simple question – why Ukraine must be the only party to comply with the Minsk agreements, and what will be the response of the West in the event of further violations of the agreements on the part of the Russian Federation? The proposed changes will not tame the aggressor, but will bring it closer to a “legal” way victory.

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