Necessity of referendum on Ukraine joining NATO proved in the court
“The Ukrainian Constitutional Court read out a decision calling it inadmissible for the president to ignore constitutional norms that oblige him to call a nationwide referendum in Ukraine on people's initiative.” According to a REGNUM correspondent in Kiev, such a statement was made by MP Nestor Shufrych (Regions Party) at a press conference on October, 21.
The MP recalled that 4,431,673 signatures were collected to support an all-Ukrainian referendum on Ukraine's membership in NATO and the Common Economic Area and it was confirmed by a protocol of the Central Election Commission. “It was the Ukrainian people vs. the president case. And the Ukrainian people won,” Shufrych said. He also added that “to call for a referendum under people's initiative is not only a right but a duty of the president. Since 3 million signatures are collected the president is obliged to declare the referendum. The Constitutional Court put an end to this issue”.
Referring to various sociological polls, Shufrych proved that 70 to 80% of Ukrainian people don't want to see the country in NATO. “Holding such a referendum would stop intensive speculation that provokes intricate relationships both within Ukraine and abroad, exacerbating our relations with a number of states, primarily with Russia,” the MP said. He also stressed that “if Yushchenko does not hold a referendum, apart from the moral and political responsibility he may have to bear a legal liability. With regard to timing there are two options: to hold the referendum immediately, or in a legal way no later than four months and no earlier than three months. Considering the budget law for 2009, I will initiate allocation of money for the referendum”, he concluded