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Jenny Cohen
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Charles Wise
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Last modified: Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Media advisory: Expert available to comment on Ukraine's governmental crisis

Jan. 10, 2006

EDITORS: In response to today's (Jan. 10) action by Ukraine's parliament to dismiss that nation's cabinet over a natural gas deal with Russia, we offer comments by and contact information for Charles Wise, director of the Parliamentary Development Project for Ukraine and professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University:

"Today the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine dismissed the prime minister and the government of Ukraine. However, the motion of no confidence may be subject to legal challenge. The constitution gives the parliament the right to dismiss the prime minister but not the Cabinet of Ministers directly," Wise said. "Today's motion was to dismiss the prime minister and the Cabinet of Ministers. The prime minister and the president could assert that the whole motion is unconstitutional because it is overbroad.

"There may be no resolution of the status of the government before the March parliamentary elections in that the Constitutional Court presently does not have a sufficient number of sitting justices to constitute a quorum. The decision comes on the heels of heated negotiations between the governments of Ukraine and Russia concerning natural gas supply. The dismissal of government arguably underscores the Verkhovna Rada's new-found constitutional powers that went into effect at the new year."

Wise can be reached today at 812-320-4045 (office), 928-226-9847 (cell) or

Wise directs the Parliamentary Development Project in IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, which has worked since 1994 to strengthen Ukraine's parliament as a transparent, effective, democratic institution through improved legislative-executive relations and increased citizen involvement. PDP facilitates parliamentary access advocacy training, provides technical assistance to parliamentarians and their staff, conducts comparative research on policy issues, awards grants to citizen coalitions and encourages highly motivated young professionals to become involved with the legislature through its Parliamentary Internship Program. For more information, please visit

An earlier news release describes the program in detail at