KIEV, February 6. /TASS/. The decision by Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, to strip Viktor Yanukovych of the title of Ukraine’s president is not stipulated by the country’s Constitution, director of the Kiev Center of Political Studies and Conflictology Mikhail Pogrebinsky said Friday.
"The Constitution has it that there is only one opportunity to strip the president of his title, in case of impeachment. If there was no impeachment, he can’t be deprived of it. But there are 200 people who vote for it," Pogrebinsky commented on the Ukrainian parliament’s decision at a news conference.
On Wednesday, February 4, the Rada adopted a law on depriving Yanukovych of the title of the country’s president. The move is aimed at formally stripping Yanukovych of all benefits and privileges former heads of state are entitled to in line with the law.
The law authors said this happened because Yanukovych relieved himself of his duties and fled Ukraine "to avoid punishment for committed criminal actions against human rights and freedoms."
Provisions of the Ukrainian Constitution were violated, in line with which early termination of presidential powers is only possible in case of resignation, inability to exercise the powers for health reasons, ouster through impeachment or death.
According to Andrey Klishas, chairman of the constitutional legislation and state construction committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, by its decision to strip Yanukovych of the presidential title, the Rada recognized that Ukraine had seen an anti-constitutional state coup last year.