According to the law passed in 2000, the president may in certain circumstances, including the blocking of government, call a state of emergency. The president must, however, first warn of such an intention. He can then issue a decree, however this only comes into force if parliament gives its consent.
Before the violent dispersing of peaceful young protesters early on Nov 30, President Viktor Yanukovych might have felt confident that any such decree would be stamped and approved without question. Even the opposition’s blocking of parliament proved a mere inconvenience on April 4 with parliament speaker Volodymyr Rybak simply organizing an offsite “parliamentary session” at the cabinet of ministers building. The clear illegitimacy of the event, exacerbated by the refusal to admitmembers of the opposition, did not stop the president from signing the documents “adopted” into law.
The bloody measures against young people exercising their right to peaceful support for European integration should have dispelled any blithe confidence in obedient Party of the Regions MPs. As of early Monday afternoon, four MPs have announced that they are leaving the pro-presidential Party of the Regions. The number seems likely to grow, especially since the first MP to declare her resignation, Inna Bohoslovska has also publicly stated that the provocation on Bankova St, near the president’s administration on Dec. 1 could have been organized by the ruling Party of the Regions.