President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree to sack Oleksandr Tupytsky, head of the country’s Constitutional Court, who’s been involved in the scandal regarding the annulment of anti-corruption legislation.
On March 27, Zelensky signed a decree revoking a 2013 order to appoint Tupytsky chairman of the court signed by ousted President Viktor Yanukovych in early 2013. Yanukovych fled Ukraine after the EuroMaidan Revolution in 2014.
The decision comes after months of conflict between Zelensky and the Constitutional Court, which occurred after the institution issued a widely criticized ruling that effectively eliminated Ukraine’s system of asset declarations for public officials. It spurred a constitutional crisis that threatened to undermine the country’s battle with graft.
“Certain judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine appointed by Viktor Yanukovych, as they continue exercising their authority, pose a threat to Ukraine’s independence and security, which contradicts the Constitution,” the decree reads.
However, Zelensky’s attempt to interfere in the judiciary as the president of Ukraine also contradicts the Constitution.
This isn’t the first time Zelensky has tried to fire Tupytsky.
In late December, he issued a decree to suspend Tupytsky from his position for two months, but the Constitutional Court declared the act null and void.
The latest attempt to fire him may also fail as only the Constitutional Court can fire its head, by a vote of two-thirds, according to law experts.
Stepan Berko, a lawyer at law firm Dejure, told the BBC Ukraine that the only way out of the constitutional crisis is to change the judges of the court through a transparent competition, as civic experts insist.
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