New Citizen leaves Constitutional Assembly over language law

The New Citizen partnership of NGOs has withdrawn from the Constitutional Assembly over President Yanukovych’s signing of the controversial language law which significantly increases the role of the Russian language.


New Citizen condemns the unconstitutional Law on the Principles of State Language Policy. Since it is convinced that real reform of the Constitution is possible only on condition of respect and unwavering observance of the current Constitution, it declares its refusal to be a member of the Constitutional Assembly created under the President, and is withdrawing its representative from that advisory body.

It states that the President signed a law which was passed with numerous infringements of the Constitution and Verkhovna Rada Regulations, including the requirement that MPs vote in person.

A number of norms of the new law also breach the Constitution.

For the above reasons, New Citizen had called on the President to use his power of veto and stated that his signing of the law would signify his endorsement of unconstitutional actions by parliamentarians.

As reported, New Citizen  received a categorical response  from Marina Stavniychuk, Adviser to the President on Constitutional Modernization who stated that the draft law had been adopted on 3 July 2012 with serious infringements of the Verkhovna Rada Regulations, and that a considerable number of the provisions do not comply with Ukraine’s Constitution and international documents including the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages, as well as a Constitutional Court Judgment from 14 December 1999.

In its letter from 3 July 2012 New Citizen stated that the President’s signing of the language law would demonstrate lack of real intention to support constitutional reform in Ukraine.

The statement is supported by

Dmytro Kotlyar, independent analyst and representative of New Citizen in the Constitutional Assembly; and representatives of:

TORO (Transparency International’s partner in Ukraine;

The Centre for Political Study and Analysis;

Centre UA

The Debating Academy;

The Institute for Mass Information;

The NGO Ukrainian Strategy

The NGO Don’t’ be Indifferent

The Kyiv Independent Media Trade Union

VEGO Mama 86

For a Ukraine Free from Tobacco Smoke

Internews Ukraine

The Committee of Voters of Ukraine

The Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation



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