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Focus on Ukraine, September 14-20, 2009

September 21, 2009
 
Overview of political events of the week
                                                 
September 14
 
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the 2010 National Budget, which it will submit to the Verkhovna Rada for ratification.
According to the law, the government must submit the draft of the national budget to the Verkhovna Rada no later than September 15.
 
September 15
 
The government submitted the national budget for review by the Verkhovna Rada.
The budget stipulates UAH 324 billion in expenditures, UAH 285 billion in revenues and a deficit of UAH 46.7 billion (3.97% of GDP). The government forecasts inflation of 9.7% next year. The members of parliament will begin to review the budget next week.
 
Premier Yulia Tymoshenko informed that social payouts from next year’s national budget will be minimal.  
The premier stated that next year payouts will not be increased. An increase in payouts is stipulated only for 3rd category employees – teachers, doctors and librarians.
Retirees that receive less than UAH 1,000 per moth will be given an additional payout for medicines.
The premier also stated that the government plans to cut the salaries of parliamentarians in half starting next year.
 
The Cabinet of Ministers is currently drafting a bill of resolutions stipulating the implementation of the 2010 National Budget should the president of Ukraine refuse to sign it.  
Premier Yulia Tymoshenko announced this upon presentation of the 2010 National Budget.
 

Members of the Party of Regions faction, which continues to bloc the rostrum of the parliament, stated they will not vote in favor of the budget if it does not envisage money to increase social payouts.

 

President Viktor Yushchenko submitted an appeal to the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Law “On the Presidential Elections”, Presidential Chief-of- Staff Maryna Stadniychuk informed.
As a reminder, the law took effect on September 10 upon the signature of VR Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.

 
The Constitutional Court deemed the Law “On the Impeachment of the President” unconstitutional.
Head of the Constitutional Court Andriy Stryzhak said the law was deemed unconstitutional as the procedure of the law taking effect was breached. The court did not review any other issues of the law.
 

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said the main aim of his recent communiqu? to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on the crisis in Russian-Ukrainian relations to stir up emotions was achieved.

 
Former Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk stated at a round table organized by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation that Russia poses a certain threat to Ukraine.
This is why members of Ukraine’s intelligentsia approved a decision to appeal to governments around the world to defend Ukraine from military encroachment and call on guarantor countries to summon an international conference to ensure guarantees of the security of Ukraine declared in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994.
 

This year Ukrainian commercial banks will incur losses of UAH 20 billion,according to figures on the official site of the National Bank of Ukraine compiled over the period of January-September, 2009.

 
September 16
 

Oleksandr Savchenko, who recently tendered his resignation as NBU Deputy Governor, was appointed Deputy Minister of Finance.

 
Crimean MPs applied the experience of their colleagues in the Verkhovna Rada by blocking the rostrum of the Crimean parliament.
The opposition is demanding that the resignation of speaker of parliament Anatoliy Hrytsenko and assures that it will continue to block the work of the parliament until he steps down.
 
People gathered for a candlelight vigil in memory of journalists that suffered due to their profession.
Nine years ago today journalist Georgiy Gongadze disappeared. Investigation units established that the police abducted and brutally murdered Gongadze. Today three immediate perpetrators of the journalist’s murder face punishment.

This July officers of the SBU detained Oleksiy Pukach, who is suspected of organizing the murder, though those who ordered the kill are still unknown.

 
September 17
 
President Viktor Yushchenko harshly criticized the government’s budget policy calling it unprofessional and one that is intensifying the financial crisis.
The president is convinced that the budget deficit in 2010 will double and in fact be UAH 106 billion, not the UAH 46 billion that the current government recently forecast.
 
September 18    
 

The World Bank will issue US $400 million to Ukraine to support the country’s banking sector. This money must be spent on ensuring a transparent process of recapitalization of Ukrainian commercial banks and improving legislation for their financial recuperation.

 

The premier stated the possibility of two variants of the disruption of the presidential elections.

The first may happen thanks to the Constitutional Court, which is attempting to cancel the law over a simple “comma”.

The second is the introduction of a state of emergency due to the collapse of the economy.

 

The Central Election Commission established 225 territorial districts for the presidential elections in Ukraine on January 17, 2010.

According to the preliminary results of personal data in the National Registry of Voters as of September 16, 2009 there are 36,193,192 voters on the territory of Ukraine.

Councils of all levels must submit to the CEC their proposals on setting up territorial electoral districts taking into account an approximately equal number of voters in each electoral district by October 10.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
      
 


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