Members of Severodonetsk City Council are looking for justice

On 23rd of December at “Siversky Donets” Crisis Media Centre press conference of members of Severodonetsk City Council Serhii Zaretskyi and Oleksii Iarosh on topic “How to reach the transparency of local authority” has been held.

The reason for the press conference was the need of public discussion of the situation regarding the execution of court decisions on the recognition of illegal and canceling the resolutions of the Severodonetsk City Election Commission of Lugansk Oblast ” in the order of the candidate of the local political party “Nash Krai” (Our land), “On recognition of Oleksii Yarosh as refusing from the deputy mandate of the Severodonetsk City Council and recognize the elected deputy of the Severodonetsk City Council as the next candidate of the local organization “Radical Party of Oleg Liashko” next in turn the candidate of the local organization “Radical Party of Oleg Liashko”.

At the beginning of the press conference, Sergii Zaretskyi said that the decisions which essentially renew the parliamentary powers of Iarosh, Zaretsky and Prygeba were made in November 2018. But these court decisions have not been enforced. Since then, persons whose parliamentary powers have been renewed by court do not have actual access to the exercise of their own parliamentary powers. Instead, other persons (next in line candidates) fulfill their parliamentary powers without any legislative grounds.

Oleksii Iarosh underlined that according to the Article 1291 of the Constitution of Ukraine the court makes decision on behalf of Ukraine. The court’s decision is binding. The decisions which have entered into force are binding on all state bodies, local self-government bodies, their officials and officials, individuals and legal entities and their associations throughout Ukraine (part two of Article 14 of the Code of Administrative Justice of Ukraine).

Also, speakers focused the participants’ attention on the fact that local authority officials and security police department of Luhansk oblast physically prevent their access to meeting room. Such a situation makes recognition of actions of Severodonetsk City Council as transparent, open and accountable impossible.

Particinats of the press conference were interested to know more about the position of opponents of recognition of powers of members of Severodonetsk City Council Zaretskyi, Iarosh and Prygeba. Serhiy Zaretsky noted that representatives of Severodonetsk City Council refer to the absence of the names of the mentioned deputies on the Central Election Comission website.

Another argument of the opponents of recognition of powers of members of Severodonetsk City Council and speakers of the press conference was that there should be the separate decree of Severodonetsk City Election Comission about recognition of them as members of City Council. However, the announcement by the relevant election commission at the session of the council of the decision on the results of the elections and recognition of the powers of deputies Iarosh, Zaretskyi and Prygeba took place on 02.12.2015, after the local elections. The conclusions of the Severodonetsk City Election Commission over recognition of Zaretskyi, Iarosh and Prigeba as those who refused the deputy’s mandate were canceled by court. Accordingly, the previous resolution on the election results and the recognition of the powers of deputies Iarosh, Zaretskyi and Prigeba is in force, and another re-announcement by the Severodonetsk City Election Commission is inappropriate.

Moreover, speakers demonstrated the letter of Central Election Commission № 21-30-8637 on 14.11.2019 in which it is said that recognition of local deputies’ powers and ending of their powers and informing Central election Commission about it belong to powers of appropriate local council.

Representative of Severodonetsk City Election Commission of Luhansk oblast Lyudmyla Sobol, who was present at the press conference, said that the commission’s management had not convened the meeting for more than a year and the activity had actually been blocked. In the above mentioned letter, the Central Election Commission also stated that the Central Election Commission should check the activities of the Severodonetsk City Election Commission and, in the event of violations of the requirements of the Law of Ukraine “On Local Elections”, the Central Election Commission, within the limits of its powers, should take appropriate response measures.

One of the main points of the press conference is that all the decisions made by the Severodonetsk City Council since November 2018 and voted for by persons who did not have the relevant parliamentary powers at the time of voting, raise doubts about their legitimacy and may at any time be canceled in the presence of a suit. This is a significant threat to the stability of Severodonetsk’s development.

The team of “Siversky Donets” Crisis Media Centre underlines that extremely important topics were touched during the press conference. They are connected with the development of the city of Severodonetsk and all the parts of conflict have been invited to constructive dialogue and search of the ways of local political crisis resolution.

The event was part of the “Contemporary Regional Media – a pledge of quality in a media-competent democratic Ukraine” project, which is being implemented by the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center with the financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by the Norwegian Embassy in Kyiv.