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5 Nov, 2020 13:54

Ukrainian opposition threatens possible impeachment of President Zelensky as constitutional crisis in Kiev deepens

Ukrainian opposition threatens possible impeachment of President Zelensky as constitutional crisis in Kiev deepens

A leading MP from Ukraine’s main opposition party, ‘Opposition Platform – For Life’, has indicated it may push for the impeachment of President Volodymyr Zelensky as Kiev’s latest political crisis becomes more divisive.

Ilya Kiva, one of the group's representatives in the Ukrainian parliament, raised concerns on Wednesday about Zelensky’s ongoing row with the country’s Constitutional Court over a package of new anti-corruption reforms. The Opposition Platform is regarded as “pro-Russian” by Western media, as it rejects Kiev's hostile stance toward Moscow.

Speaking to Ukrainian TV channel NewsOne, Kiva said Zelensky is “ready to wipe his feet on the Constitution for the benefit of third parties, spitting it out, flattening it out.”

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“We are ready to talk about this issue [of impeachment]. I want to look at Parliament’s actions today, because whatever decision the Constitutional Court makes, we Members of Parliament cannot level the law just because someone likes it or not,” he added.

The growing political debate comes after Zelensky brought a new bill before parliament at the end of October, aimed at “restoring public confidence in constitutional proceedings.” The law would limit the powers of the Constitutional Court, and overturn a previous decision by judges to strike down parts of the president’s flagship anti-corruption laws. Zelensky has also called for the court to be disbanded, replacing its justices.

Ukraine’s anti-corruption drive results from commitments made to international partners, including the European Union. In return, Brussels has drafted a financial assistance package worth almost $1.5 billion (€1.2 billion). The failure to maintain the reform drive could threaten the visa regime for Ukrainian nationals in Schengen countries.

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Kiva turned fire on the president’s motivations, arguing that Zelensky himself had said he was responding to requests from “G7 ambassadors and partners who allegedly help the country.” He also told journalists that Ukraine’s current parliament “does not defend the interests of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian state, but acts as the president does, in the interests of third parties.”

“We are ready for dissolution of the parliament and re-election,” he added.

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