While preparing for the annual press conference, President Zelensky violated the Constitution by appointing his candidates as members to the contest committee for selection of a head of a powerful central executive body. Meanwhile, MPs challenged the work of the national regulator on the energy and public utilities market and the Cabinet decided to help India in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Appointment of members of a committee for the selection of BES Director
Decision-maker: the President.
Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, businesses, government bodies, local governments, and employees of the Bureau of Economic Security.
Summary of the decree: the President appointed his candidates as members of a committee for the selection of the Director of the Bureau of Economic Security:
- Yulia Svyrydenko, deputy head of the Office of the President
- Tymofiy Mylovanov, advisor to the head of the Office of the President
- Oleksandr Lytvynenko, director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies (an institution under the President).
Why this is important:
- the Bureau of Economic Security is a newly created central executive body that is supposed to take over some of the functions of the former Tax Militia, in particular, to deal with crimes threatening the effective functioning of the state economy
- according to the former head of the State Tax Service and newly appointed Minister of Economy Oleksii Liubchenko, Ukraine loses near $7.7 bln to tax evasion schemes annually
- according to President Volodymyr Zelensky, smuggling costs the government budget ₴300 bln.
What is wrong:
- the BES Director is dependent on the President and his team. The selection committee is comprised of representatives delegated by the President himself, the Parliament (where the President has a monomajority), and the Cabinet (loyal to the President). As a result, the BES Director will be totally dependent on the President, although, according to the Constitution, the latter has no authority to influence the economy or law enforcement agencies
- the former Minister of Finance and former Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Danyliuk has cautioned against the risk of such an appointment
- powers of the President and the Parliament are defined by the Constitution and cannot be extended. Both institutions has no authority to delegate their representatives to selection committees, so in the end, the appointment of the BES Director will be ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.
- the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers have to delegate their representatives to the contest committee. The committee will have to propose three candidates for the position of the BES Director to the Prime Minister. The Cabinet will have to approve one of the proposed candidates
- the procedure for the selection of the BES Director can easily be challenged in court. The Constitutional Court has already ruled unconstitutional the appointment procedure for the Head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the presidential decree on appointing Artem Sytnyk as the NABU Director.
Alternative solution: to amend the law so that the selection committee is comprised only of Cabinet’s representatives.
Challenge to the constitutionality of NCSREPU’s work
Initiators: 50 MPs. The Constitutional Court is preparing its final decision.
Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, businesses, big industrial enterprises, and the Cabinet.
Case summary: 50 MPs challenge the constitutionality of the following:
- the fact that members of the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public (NCSREPU) continue to work after been appointed under the unconstitutional procedure
- the procedure of NCSREPU’s members’ rotation, in particular, the clause that the President will delegate his representatives to the regulator until 2025
- presidential decrees appointing the members of the NCSREPU Olena Antonova, Dmytro Kovalenko, Oksana Kryvenko, Ruslan Kaidash, Olha Babii, Valerii Tarasiuk, and Oleksii Mahda.
Why this is important:
- in June of 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled it unconstitutional for the President to have influence over the NCSREPU, in particular, to delegate his representatives to the selection committee and to appoint members of the regulator
- in December of 2019, MPs changed the law to adhere to the Court’s decision but still allowed for the President to have influence over the NCSREPU until 2025
- according to the State Statistics Service, in March of 2021, the total household debt for public utilities was ₴73.9 bln.
What’s next: the Constitutional Court has already started the closed part of the proceedings and is getting ready to make its final decision.
Humanitarian aid for India
Decision-maker: the Cabinet.
Who is affected: diplomats, government bodies, and citizens of India.
Summary of the ordinance:
- the Cabinet allocates ₴15 mln for the Ministry of Internal Affairs to provide the coronavirus aid and pay for its transportation
- the State Emergency Service will be responsible for the procurement and transfer of the aid, the National Guard — for the delivery.
Why this is important: at the moment, India suffers the most violent coronavirus surge. The uncontrollable spread of the virus presents a global-scale threat.
What is right:
- the ordinance is a goodwill gesture and will enhance Ukraine’s relations with other countries
- Ukraine takes its part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 globally.
We are glad that you are interested in the social and political life of our country!
If you like our digests on important decisions made by government bodies, we propose you become our Patrons and support us by monthly donations of three or more US dollars here. Monthly donations will give you an opportunity to better know the team and get our extra products. Or you can support us by one-time donation on our website.
In doing so, you will help us to provide our analytics regularly, make politics more accessible and government bodies’ activity more transparent for citizens of the whole country.
If you liked this post, you can donate usDonate
Collection of genetic information, competition for BES…
During their first plenary week of June, MPs plan to consider the amended draft bill on collecting genetic information that…
All-Ukrainian referendum, Bureau of Economic Security, bill…
The first plenary week of this year was productive for the Verkhovna Rada. MPs adopted a draft bill on the…