Kyiv, 15 March 2014 – “The only legislative body in Ukraine is the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Neither President not the Cabinet of Ministers can approve a referendum procedure, not to mention the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea”, said Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine Andriy Magera during a press briefing at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.
The official emphasized that the Parliament of Crimea cannot approve a separate Constitution or determine the legal status of the peninsula. “It is not authorized to do that. Crimea is not subject to international law. The state of Ukraine is solely authorized to represent the interests of Crimea on the international arena,” he said.
In addition, Magera said he believed the voting ballot is phrased in a manipulative fashion. “It doesn’t matter how voters will be filling in those ballots. What matters how these votes will be counted and interpreted,” the official said.
He also commented on yesterday’s ruling by the Constitutional Court that deemed the decisions by the Crimean Parliament unconstitutional: “The Verkhovna Rada of the Crimean Autonomous Republic violated the Constitution of Ukraine. This is why today, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine decided to dissolve the Crimean legislature. This sends a strong message to local Crimean authorities as well as to the international community that tomorrow’s referendum will not have any legal consequences at all.”
Magera added that the preparation for the presidential elections is under way but so far the Central Election Commission has not registered a single candidate.