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Yushchenko says Ukrainian Constitutional Court loses legality, function

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday said the Constitutional Court has lost legality and its normal function that is needed to ensure the authority of the state constitution in an escalation of political standoff.

In a televised address, Yushchenko said that the Constitutional Court should have functioned to ensure the authority of the basic law of the state within the framework of the constitution, free from political disputes. But the Constitutional Court has remained impotent for the past two years and has failed to make a single decision since last September, he added, blaming the deepening political crisis on the failure of the court. While blasting the Constitutional Court for political involvements, Yushchenko accused some of its members of corruption.

Ukraine's lawmakers have asked the Constitutional Court to rule on the legitimacy of President Yushchenko's dismissal of three of its judges, the information office of the court said last week. Yushchenko signed two decrees in April to dissolve the parliament and call for early parliamentary elections. Demanded by lawmakers, the Constitutional Court began discussions on the legality of the decrees on April 17. Between April 30 and May 10, Yushchenko signed decrees to sack three Constitutional Court judges, as the court started legal proceedings on the legitimacy of the president's decrees. The Constitutional Court, established in October 1996, is an 18-member board, which decides on the legality of presidential orders and monitors government decision-making bodies. (