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Ukraine president appoints new Constitutional Court judge as decree ruling looms

[JURIST] Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website] Friday appointed a new judge to the nation's Constitutional Court [official website], the second such appointment in two days. Stepan Havrysh [official profile] and Vasyl Kostytsky [Council of Europe profile] will replace two judges Yuschenko dismissed [JURIST report] earlier this week for procedural and ethics violations. Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych criticized the appointments, saying that the the president could not install judges without first consulting Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych [BBC profile] and the Justice Ministry. The court is currently considering the constitutionality of Yushchenko's decree [text; JURIST report] dissolving parliament and calling for new elections. Yanukovych and a majority of legislators objected to the decree, filing an appeal with the 18-judge Constitutional Court. After weeks of fighting, Yushchenko and Yanukovych agreed [BBC report] Friday to hold early parliamentary elections. Radio Free Europe has more. AP has additional coverage.

Yushchenko and Yanukovych were fierce rivals in the 2004 presidential election [JURIST report], the results of which were invalidated by the country's Supreme Court [JURIST report] following fraud allegations. Yushchenko was sworn in as Ukraine's president [JURIST report] in January 2005 on the wings of the populist Orange Revolution [BBC timeline] after winning a re-vote. Yushchenko reluctantly accepted Yanukovych as prime minister last June and the two have since clashed over parliamentary attempts to expand the cabinet's power [JURIST reports] at the expense of the presidency.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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