by Karl Pomeroy
June 9, 2015
Edited June 10, 2015
The Amendments to the Ukraine Constitution, as proposed by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in accordance with the package of measures of the February 2015 Minsk 2.0 Agreements, were published on June 8 at the Donetsk News Agency website. We present these in full below. Some supporters of Novorossiya’s independence have become disheartened by the process, however, concerned that the amendments are a compromise, possibly ruling out freedom and sovereigny for Donbass and thus bringing an end to the country of Novorossiya. Nothing could be further from the truth.
One such response, for example, comes from Twitter source Stop EXCEPTIONALISM. At about 14:00 UTC today, June 9, this source posted a TASS article entitled Donetsk, Luhansk self-proclaimed republics ready to remain part of Ukraine with the comment: “Today will be declared the day of the sadness when traitor Putin gave NOVOROSSIYA to the NAZIS.” This is an unfortunate misunderstanding which I would like to clarify. (Note: the news site Russia Insider takes a more optimistic view in their article Kiev Rebuffs Rebel Offer to Keep Donbass a Part of Ukraine (June 9).)
The DPR/LPR leadership, including Prime Ministers Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, and Minsk Contact Group envoys Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deynego, have a profound and subtle strategy underlying the Minsk process that has been overlooked by many. Never have they deviated from this strategy, and never have they betrayed the ideals of the Republics of Novorossiya. Their brilliant plan is clear to us. However, its elucidation would not be, at present, in the best interests of the DPR/LPR. The outlines of the plan will emerge over time, and can be discussed at some future date.
Meanwhile, we have complete faith in these leaders who have evolved a perfect line of approach through this very treacherous and complex international minefield set up via the intervention of hostile foreign countries. Regarding Putin’s role, I am not prepared to comment at the moment, except that it is largely irrelevant to the planned map of action.
I present here the full text of Ukrainian Constitutional Amendments as proposed by officials of the DPR/LPR. Due to time limitations and the urgency of publication, as well as the difficulty of understanding regional legal language in autotranslated form, I can only comment on a few of the proposed changes. It is clear that these amendments would guarantee an autonomy so complete as to constitute de facto independence.
For example, Article 1392 guarantees that elections are regulated only by the regions of the DPR and LPR, and not by the government in Kiev. Article 1395 guarantees complete local control of essentially all economic activity. Article 1396 guarantees complete regional control of all elections of officials at the local level. So far, it is hard to see how these items alone do not provide a situation of near sovereignty for the two Republics.
[June 10 revisions to the amendments are explained at the end.]
Additions and Changes by the Donetsk People’s Republic
and the Lugansk People’s Republic
to the Constitution of Ukraine
Autotranslation with minor editing by Quemado Institute
June 8, 2015
SECTION X1: LEGAL STATUS OF CERTAIN AREAS
Donetsk and Lugansk regions
Article 1391. A number of districts, cities and other settlements of Donetsk region forms a separate area with a special status. A number of districts, towns and other settlements Luhansk region forms a separate area with a special status. The list of districts, cities and other settlements of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, forming separate areas with special status, and the basis of the status of these areas are determined by special laws of Ukraine. Local governments of individual regions with special status have Statutes governing their status, issues of acceptance, approval and registration are determined by special laws of Ukraine. Local governments of individual regions with special status may decide to join the association with the creation of common management structures. Association of individual regions with special status have Statutes governing their status, issues of acceptance, approval and registration are determined by special laws of Ukraine. Some areas with special status (or their associations) are an integral part of Ukraine and within the powers defined by the Constitution, special laws of Ukraine, as well as agreements on the delimitation of powers between these areas, their associations and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, ministries and other central executive Ukrainian authorities, on their own matters within their jurisdiction.
Article 1392. Separate areas with special status (or their associations) form election commissions on the territory of those regions. Election committees of individual regions with special status (or their associations) are independent and not subject to legislative and executive authorities or other election commissions.
Article 1393. The state ensures financial sustainability of certain areas with special status by:
1) consolidation of the budgets of individual regions with special status sufficient sources of funding to ensure their balance, fall within the scope of tasks and are the responsibility of individual regions with special status and local authorities in these areas;
2) an annual determination of protected expenditures State Budget of Ukraine allocated to state support of socio-economic development of these areas;
3) the provision of financial assistance and other forms of financial cooperation;
4) conclusions with separate areas with special status (and / or their associations), agreements on economic, social and cultural development of these areas, agreements on the delimitation of powers between these areas (and / or their associations) and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, ministries and other central bodies of executive power;
5) introduction of a special economic regime of economic and investment activity in these areas;
6) facilitate the development of certain regions with a special status of cross-border cooperation.
Article 1394. In some areas with a special status acts a special procedure and the special status of local government, providing for a separate legal regulation. Local governments of individual regions with special status (or controls their associations) to ensure law and order and public security organs have the right to create public order protection (people’s militia). Heads of such bodies shall be appointed and dismissed from office by the decision of local governments of individual regions with special status (or controls their associations).
Article 1395. Local governments of individual regions with special status (or controls their associations) exercise regulatory control on:
1) agriculture, forests, land and land use, the use of other natural resources;
2) land reclamation and mining;
3) public works, crafts and trades; charitable activities;
4) urban development and housing;
5) tourism, hotel business, fairs;
6) museums, libraries, theaters, other cultural establishments, historical and cultural reserves;
7) public transportation, roadways, water supply;
8) hunting and fishing;
9) sanitary and hospital services;
10) The use of the Russian language;
11) conduct of business, the establishment of order of state supervision and control of business activities, as well as guarantees of conducting such activities;
12) the structure and powers of the executive bodies of local government and the central executive authorities, courts and prosecutor’s office within the delegated authority;
13) the implementation of economic and investment activities in the special economic regime;
14) the implementation of cross-border cooperation.
Article 1396. The jurisdiction of individual regions with special status include:
1) appointing and conducting local referendums, elections of deputies of local councils, municipal, district and village heads, approve the composition of election commissions and the procedure of elections and referenda;
2) empowerment and termination of powers of the head of executive power of individual regions with special status, the statement about empowerment and termination of powers of the said persons;
3) the management and disposal of property belonging to individual regions with special status;
4) development, approval and implementation of the budget of individual regions with special status, as well as participate in the development of the State Budget of Ukraine to protect the interests of individual regions with special status and to ensure their financial independence;
5) development, approval and implementation of the socio-economic and cultural development, environmental management and environmental protection;
6) participating in ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens, national harmony, law enforcement and public safety;
7) ensure the right to use the territory of individual regions with special status of Russian and other national languages;
8) protection and order the construction of memorials, obelisks, memorial graves and other monuments of history and culture, as well as the development of multi-national cultures of the peoples living in some areas with a special status;
9) the initiation of a state of emergency and the establishment of zones of an ecological emergency situation;
10) the conclusion of agreements with foreign states or their administrative and territorial units on issues related to the activities of individual regions with special status;
11) the establishment of rates of local taxes and fees;
12) determination of the size of payments for the provision of administrative services;
13) other functions within the delegated authority.
Article 1397. Justice in certain areas with a special status by the courts, which are part of a single system of courts of Ukraine. Creation and liquidation of courts as well as the appointment and dismissal of presidents of courts and judges in some areas with a special status carried out in coordination with local governments of individual regions with special status (or controls their associations). Features of activity of vessels in certain areas with a special status established by the law of Ukraine.
Article 1398. The prosecution authorities of individual regions with special status are included in a single system of the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine. Leaders of the prosecution in certain areas with special status shall be appointed and dismissed from office by agreement with the local authorities of individual regions with special status (or controls their associations). Features of activity of the prosecution of individual regions with special status are set by law Ukraine.
Article 116. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine:
1) ensures the state sovereignty and economic independence of Ukraine, the implementation of domestic and foreign policy, implementation of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, acts of the President of Ukraine;
2) takes measures to ensure the rights and freedoms of man and citizen;
3) ensure the implementation of financial, pricing, investment and taxation policies; policies in the areas of labor and employment, social protection, education, science and culture, environmental protection, environmental safety and environmental management;
4) develop and implement national programs of economic, scientific, technological, social and cultural development of Ukraine;
4.1) concludes with individual regions with special status (and / or their associations) Agreement on economic, social and cultural development of these areas, an agreement on the delimitation of powers between these areas (and / or their associations) and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
4.2) promotes the conclusion of agreements between the ministries and other central executive authorities of Ukraine and parts with special status (and / or their associations) on economic, social and cultural development of these areas, agreements on the delimitation of powers between these areas (and / or their associations ) and the said authorities;
4.3) promotes cross-border cooperation in certain areas with a special status;
5) ensure equal conditions for the development of all forms of ownership; manages state property in accordance with law;
6) develop a draft law on State Budget of Ukraine and ensures the implementation of the approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine State Budget of Ukraine is Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine report on its implementation;
7) takes measures to ensure the defense capability and national security of Ukraine, public order and combating crime;
8) organizes and ensures the implementation of foreign economic activity of Ukraine, customs;
9) directs and coordinates the work of ministries and other bodies of executive power;
9.1) form, reorganize and liquidate, in accordance with the law of the ministries and other central executive authorities, acting within the limits of the funds provided for the maintenance of executive authorities;
9.2) appoints and dismisses the proposal of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, heads of central executive bodies that are not part of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
10) exercise other powers defined by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.
Article 118. Executive power in the regions and districts, cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol is exercised by local state administrations. Features of the executive power in the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol are determined by special laws of Ukraine. The composition of local state administrations form the heads of local state administrations. Heads of local state administrations are appointed and dismissed by the President of Ukraine submitted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Heads of local state administrations in exercising their powers responsible to the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, accountable to and under the control of the executive power of a higher level. Local state administrations are accountable to and under the control of councils in the part of the powers delegated to them by the respective district or regional councils. Local state administrations are accountable to and under the control of the executive power of a higher level. Decisions of the heads of local state administrations that contravene the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, other legislative acts of Ukraine may be in accordance with the law revoked by the President of Ukraine or the chairman of the local state administration of a higher level. The regional or district council may express no confidence in the chairman of the respective local state administration, whereby the President of Ukraine adopts a decision and provides a substantiated reply. If confidence in the head of the district or regional administration expressed two thirds of the deputies of the composition of the respective council. President accepts the resignation of the chairman of the local state administration. This article does not apply to individual regions with special status in which the powers of local state administrations to local governments.
Article 128. The first appointment of a professional judge for a term of five years by the President of Ukraine. All other judges, except the judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada elected indefinitely, in the manner prescribed by law. President of the Supreme Court of Ukraine is elected to office and dismissed from office by secret ballot by the Plenum of the Supreme Court of Ukraine in the manner prescribed by law. Features of the appointment of judges of the courts in some areas with a special status determined by a separate law of Ukraine.
DPR/LPR Revision To Constitution Amendment Draft
June 10, 2015
The Draft of the Amendments to the Ukraine Constitution, as proposed on June 8 by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, has been revised to eliminate clauses that may refer to Crimea. The other amendments would still be in force. More details are found in the following article:
Source: Truth about situation in Ukraine
Republics of Donbass call off their draft amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine in which the Crimea and Sevastopol figure, says the joint statement of representatives of the DPR and LPR in the Contact Group Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego.
“The DPR and LPR doubtlessly consider the Crimea a part of Russia. Moreover, ideally,our Republics would also like to join the composition of the Russian Federation”, — stressed the politicians in the document they forwarded to the Donetsk News Agency.
Nevertheless the representatives reminded that the status of the DPR and the LPR should be determined within the framework of the Minsk Agreement. “We would like to point out that this agreement is supported by our ally Russia. According to the Agreement we will have to determine the status of Donbass only by way of amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine. And Ukrainian Constitution contains provisions in regard to the Crimea” , — the document states.
The statement remarks that the Crimea is mentioned exclusively in technical legal context. “This mention does not bear any contextual meaning, as the Crimea is not and cannot be the subject of the Minsk Agreement”, — Pushilin and Deinego emphasized.
Nevertheless, taking into account the attempts of Ukrainian propaganda to “blow up a political event from mere formalities”, the representatives of the Republics made a decision to call off those suggestions of theirs that mention the Crimean Peninsula. “In order too avoid any further speculations in this regard we call off those put forward by us draft amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, in which the Crimea and Sevastopol are mentioned”, — the statement claims.
The DPR and the LPR suggest that Ukraine should “adopt the drafts of other amendments without delay”.
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