Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Zorkin Vows Not to Quit

Valery Zorkin, the former head of Russia's Constitutional Court, said Thursday that the judges who recently suspended him from his duties had committed an ''immoral act in the highest degree" and that he had no plans to resign.


Zorkin and his ally Viktor Luchin were suspended at a meeting of their fellow judges on Wednesday for involvement in "political activities" incompatible with their posts.


The two judges told reporters at a briefing tightly squeezed into Luchin's office in the Constitutional Court that their suspension was illegitimate.


The meeting that suspended them did not have a quorum, they said, because only six out of 13 members of the court voted to suspend Zorkin and five to suspend Luchin.


Furthermore, they added, the court technically had no right to be sitting.


"For me it is absurd in the sense that how can judges who themselves have been suspended of their powers then suspend other judges? " Zorkin said.


The court was suspended by presidential decree Oct. 7, three days after the crushing of a violent White House uprising. Zorkin had on several occasions sided with the former legislature in its power struggle with the president.


Luchin, another strong critic of the government, is running in the December polls on the ticket of the conservative Agrarian Party and attended the congress of the Russian Communist Party.


Under the new draft constitution to be voted on Dec. 12, Constitutional Court judges will in future be nominated by the president and approved by the upper chamber of the new parliament, the Federation Council.


Zorkin has condemned the draft constitution, which he said was a strictly "legal" not a political stance, but would honor the constitution if it is approved.