MOSCOW, February 4 (RAPSI) – On Wednesday, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law to strip Viktor Yanukovich of the title of president, RIA Novosti reports on Wednesday. As many as 281 MPs voted for the decision. (The required minimum is 226 votes.)
Under the Ukrainian Constitution, the title of president is retained throughout life, as long as the president was not impeached during his or her term. The procedure has not been applied to Yanukovich.
The Ukrainian parliament ruled that Yanukovich had had no longer been fulfilling his powers under the country’s constitution and was no longer “fulfilling his responsibilities” as president.
An explanatory note to the ruling says that under the law on lustration, which seeks to cleanse the new regime from the remnants of the past, the president’s actions can be classified as “the usurpation of power” that ultimately undermined Ukraine’s security and defense. The note also says that Yanukovich has been put on the wanted list.
According to the decision, “in light the above, there is the need to render void the title of president in regard to Viktor Yanukovich, who unconstitutionally removed himself from fulfilling his powers as president of Ukraine, which in turn threatened the manageability of the state and its territorial integrity and sovereignty and led to numerous breaches of the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens.”
Viktor Yanukovich was elected president on February 25, 2010. Following an overthrow on February 22, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada removed him from power, changed the constitution and set an early presidential election, which businessman Petro Poroshenko won. The new authorities also initiated criminal proceedings against several former government officials.