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Is the Communist Party banned in Ukraine? Probably, the most of the readers would answer “yes.” This impression is facilitated by all the informational noise around this issue, but in fact the answer “yes” is wrong. Or rather it is not quite right. Let us understand the picture fully.
In early May 2014, when then acting president Oleksandr Turchynov asked the Ministry of Justice to check the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) for the sake of legality and stated about the possibility of its prohibition. The reason was "the possible participation and active support of the pro-Russian actions in the southeast".
By June 14, then head of the Security Service (SBU), Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, presented the Ministry of Justice documents on the ban of the party. Some members of the CPU were accused of supporting separatists of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
July 8, the Ministry of Justice and the State Registration Service appealed to the court with a request to consider the possibility of banning the activities of the CPU in Ukraine. At the end of July 2014, the Verkhovna Rada voted for dissolving the faction of the Communist Party of Ukraine. At the same time, amendments were made to the regulations, according to which a faction with the number of deputies less than the prescribed minimum is subject to dissolution.
Dissolution of the Communist faction was issued on the same day. Later, at that time, the Speaker of the Rada, Oleksandr Turchynov, stated the following: "This is a historic event, my colleagues! I hope that there will never be any Communist factions in the Ukrainian parliament!"
However, in September the CPU was registered for the early parliamentary elections. However, as a result, the Communists were not elected to the Rada, gaining only 3.88% (with 5% threshold).
November 5, 2014, the Kyiv District Administrative Court suspended consideration of the Ministry of Justice's claim to ban the CPU, until the lawsuit filed by the CPU against the Ministry of Justice was reviewed. December 24, 2014, the Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal reversed the court's decision of November 5 to suspend the proceedings on the ban on the CPU. That is, the case returned to the court of the first instance.
April 9, 2015, the Rada adopted the draft law "On the condemnation of the communist and national-socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and the prohibition of propaganda of their symbols." President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed this law on May 15. Then it came into force.
December 16, 2015, the Kyiv District Administrative Court granted the full amount of the Justice Ministry's claim by prohibiting the activities of the CPU.
December 28, 2015, the CPU appealed. January 25, 2016, the Supreme Administrative Court denied the CPU in the consideration of the cassation. The court's decision to ban the CPU did not come into force.
The Court of Appeal suspended the proceedings on the case BEFORE CONSIDERATION by the Constitutional Court of the deputies request about the constitutionality of the law on decommunization.
So, the CPU is not prohibited? Is it allowed to participate in elections?
The conclusions are as follows:
Officially, CPU is not prohibited. The party has been active on the Internet (the website, however, was closed), and sometimes it conducts some party meetings.
And yes, it might try to take part in the elections, but it might not succeed in doing this. Second secretary of the CPU, Adam Martyniuk, explained the reason: "Unfortunately, this so-called decommunization law, which is condemned by the Venice Commission (both our president and other leaders of the state promised to take into account these remarks), contains a norm that allows the Ministry of Justice to prohibit the Communist Party from participating in elections. This is a paradox: we are not officially banned by the court (as prescribed by law), but the Ministry of Justice does not allow us to participate in the elections."
Once more. CPU is not prohibited. And what about the decommunization law? It is about symbols. Here is the link to the party channel on YouTube, you can pay attention to how the party logo has changed (and the name that is being written in a shortened version).
In January 2017 (that is, two years after the allegedly final ban), the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption stated that since the Communist Party of Ukraine is not officially banned yet, it must report on its property and finances.
Recently, the Office of the CPU was visited by cyberpolice. It has conducted searches and stopped the site's activities "due to the demonstration of communist symbols."
According to the CPU leader Petro Symonenko, the reason for the website closure was posting the photo of the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (1972-1989), Volodymyr Shcherbytsky.