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Ukraine president dismisses second Constitutional Court judge

[JURIST] Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website; BBC profile] dismissed a second judge from the Ukrainian Constitutional Court [official website] Tuesday, just one day after dismissing [JURIST report] judge Valeriy Pshenichny for an "oath violation." Deputy Chairwoman and Justice Syuzanna Stanyk was dismissed Tuesday; Yushchenko has previously accused her of corruption. RFE/RL has more.

The court is currently considering the constitutionality of Yushchenko's decree [text; JURIST report] dissolving parliament and calling for new elections. He has since issued a second decree [JURIST report] moving the elections to late June. A majority of legislators objected to the decree, filing an appeal with the 18-judge Constitutional Court.

Yushchenko has insisted [JURIST report] that his dissolution decree was proper under the Ukrainian constitution [DOC text] and has said that officials who refuse to comply with his decree could face criminal prosecution [press release; JURIST report]. Yushchenko and current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who launched the legal challenge to the decree, 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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