The ruling of the Constitutional Court concerning the law on the energy regulator creates additional challenges for the president, the parliament and the government
After resignation of members of the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission (NEURC), a contest for new members of the regulatory agency must be announced, Dixi Group Research Expert Roman Nitsovych said in his commentary for Ukrainian Energy.
“The law states that after resignation of NEURC members, a contest for new members of the regulatory agency must be immediately announced, especially since the contest commission is already up and running,” Mr. Nitsovych said.
However, he reminded that according to the Constitutional Court’s ruling, the contest commission is going to lose legitimacy after 1 January 2020, because it was staffed according to provisions which were found to be unconstitutional.
In the expert’s opinion, there are several ways out of this situation come the year 2020.
“The first one is to form a new contest commission. In order not to breach the law, the new members could be appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers, including the nomination of candidates by the President and the Verkhovna Rada. Another option is to reappoint the existing members of the commission,” Mr. Nitsovych explains.
As for the vacant positions, even though the president has appointed four provisional members, a new contest could be announced for only two positions — the ones vacated by resignation of Oleksandr Formahei and Yevhen Mahliovanyi.
“The previously announced contest for the other two positions continues; yet, it was blocked by litigations,” the expert stressed.
He believes that the contest will not end even in three months, when new members of NEURC will have to be appointed. In that case, the President may again appoint provisional members for a three-month term.
“Overall, the situation with the constitutional status of NEURC and the contest commission may be settled before February 2020 via changes in the Constitution and the Law on NEURC,” Mr. Nitsovych believes.
In addition, the President, the Verkhovna Rada or the Cabinet of Ministers may request the Constitutional Court to defer the entry of its ruling on NEURC into force. In that case, the existing contest commission would have time to finish the contests and the parliament to pass the necessary changes.
It is worth reminding that the President has accepted resignation of two members of NEURC and appointed four provisional members for a three-month term.