A dangerous precedent has been created in Ukraine, which strikes a blow to local self-government and undermines the achievements of the decentralization reform. Mayor of Chernihiv Vladyslav Atroshenko was deprived of the legal right to hold his position for one year. The relevant decision was issued on December 7, 2022 by the Yavorivsky District Court of the Lviv Region.
It can be stated that the court actually revised the will of the voters - the citizens of Chernihiv, who in 2020 re-elected Vladyslav Antroshenko as the mayor for the second time. At the same time, Mayor Atroshenko received one of the record results of indicators among the elections of mayors of regional centers of the country. 77.49% of the city's voters voted for the re-election of the mayor, which indicates the high appreciation of the community for the work of Vladyslav Atroshenko as official.
The Yavorivskyi District Court made a decision based on the prepared protocol of the NAZK. In the court's decision, you can see a contradiction with the provisions of the law itself, which he was guided by when making the decision:
- gross violation of the court, which found the mayor guilty of one offense under two parts of one article 172-7 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine;
- article 172-7 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine may provide for liability in the form of deprivation of the right to hold certain positions for one year exclusively after repeated administrative fines for the same violations during the year;
- the court applied the provisions of part 6 of art. 30 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine, without explaining his motive by "the nature of the offense" (without providing any evidence), in order to deprive the mayor of the right to hold his position for one year;
- raises doubts about the determination of the territorial affiliation of the case against the Chernihiv mayor in the Yavoriv District Court of the Lviv region, which may indicate the order and political interest in the case.
We hope that the appellate court will restore legality by overturning the decision of the Yavorivskyi court.
The Committee of Voters of Ukraine believes that this decision is a dangerous precedent, when, guided by political motives, the right to manage the city is taken away from the legally elected mayor. This precedent can be catastrophic for the development of local self-government in Ukraine and the collapse of the decentralization reform.
It is worth noting that free local self-government, which is based on the European principles of independence, self-sufficiency and accountability to communities, and not to the central government, is one of the main criteria for the integration of Ukraine into the EU.
The situation with the attempt to deprive the mayor of Chernihiv, Vladyslav Atroshenko, of the right to manage the city additionally indicated the threatening state of the judicial system in Ukraine. The halted judicial reform, the inefficient and still unformed Supreme Council of Justice leads to impunity and political influence on court decisions.
And the war cannot become a reason to curtail the gains of democracy in the development of local self-government and to block the process of judicial reform. Such selective "justice" poses a threat not only to local self-government, but is a blow to democracy and the rights of citizens, and may become a harbinger of authoritarianism.
The Committee of Voters of Ukraine is convinced that our demands are consistent with the recommendations of our European partners for the successful integration of Ukraine into the EU.
Only in the coordinated work of central authorities, local authorities, and citizens will Ukraine be able to win and we will succeed in building a strong, developed, democratic and European country.