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 Opposition Initiates Referendum on Release of Tymoshenko

Ukrainian opposition will initiate a referendum on the abolition of Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine under which former Prime Minister and Batkivschyna leader Yulia Tymoshenko was convicted.

Batkivschyna Kyiv organization cites deputy Yuriy Odarchenko: "We are initiating an all Ukrainian referendum on the abolition of Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. As soon as this article is canceled Yulia Tymoshenko will be released. Yes, we understand that nowhere in the world has a referendum been held for the release of one person but the situation in Ukraine is critical," said the deputy. According to the release, the initiative will be completely legitimate and legal, in accordance with the Constitution, the law "On the national and local referendums," and new Law of Ukraine 'On all Ukrainian referendum' voted on November 6 this year.

Moreover, the process of releasing Tymoshenko by the people's will can set a precedent in politics because nowhere in the world has a referendum been held for the release of one person. "Regardless of whether the President will sign the new law on the referendum or not, under any circumstances, we will initiate the people's will concerning the abolition of the Article 365 in the Criminal Code 'abuse of power or authority' under which this Stalinist regime from Bankovaya threw Tymoshenko in jail," said the main initiator of the referendum Yuriy Odarchenko. He also explained that according to the Constitution and both laws on the referendum (current and the one which is yet to be signed), the people have the right to a referendum to adopt amendments to laws or to abolish any law.

Thus, Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on which Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison is not an exception and the issue of the article's decriminalization based on legal grounds can be brought to public discussion. Under current law voted by the Rada the referendum may be announced if 3,000,000 signatures are collected. Also at least 100,000 signatures shall be collected in no less than 2/3 of the oblasts. The new law "On all Ukrainian referendum" (voted by the Rada on 6 November, 2012) requires to hold a meeting with at least 2,000 citizens who will select an initiative group for the referendum to be held. The initiative group shall register with the CEC and has 40 days to collect the required number of signatures in support of the referendum.

Under the current law "On all Ukrainian and local referendums" for a referendum to be held meetings of citizens shall be held in all oblasts with organizing initiative groups that will have 30 days to collect signatures in the territory.

Yuriy Odarchenko is convinced that collecting 3 million signatures in support of Yulia Tymoshenko will not be hard. Moreover, he believes that the referendum for the matters of abolishing the Tax Code, Pension Reform and Impeachment of the President of Ukraine can be held simultaneously.


 
 
 
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