Sunday, January 04, 2004

Ukraine President Wins Right to Seek New Term

International Herald Tribune

"The supreme court of Ukraine ruled Tuesday that President Leonid Kuchma could run for a third five-year term this year, angering opposition politicians who called the ruling a dodge around the constitution’s two-term limit.

The court ruled that because Kuchma was first elected in 1994, two years before the constitution was enacted, his first term did not count against him if he wants to hold on to office."

I know transitioning between constitutions can be tricky (take us, for example), but this seems like a pretty terrible decision. I think the Ukrainian constitution, in the absencee of an exemption for current presidents (ex. the U.S. Constitution's 22nd Amendment), must apply the law as written - two terms and out, no matter what. Ex post facto laws specifically protect criminal defendants from this type of behavior, but that is the exception to the rule. The Ukrainian president falls within the law, and shouldn't be allowed to run again.

And, in more international constitutional news, the Afghans now have one.

As you can see, Ukrainian and Afghan constitutional issues are a specialty of mine. It's all I follow, really. (from Paper Chase)

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