The Russia Journal
December 24, 2003
Ukraine to amend its Constitution
KIEV - The Supreme Rada, Ukrainian parliament, has passed a bill
initiating amendments to the national Constitution in the first reading. A
central highlight of the bill is the proposal to elect the president through the
Rada, and not through general election as itĺ─˘s currently stipulated in the
Two hundred and seventy six legislators voted for the amendments ĺ─ţ several
votes over the 226 votes needed to pass them in the first round of voting, while
300 votes will be needed to pass the law in the second and final reading,
If this happens, the president will no longer be elected through a general
election, but by the parliament, thus depriving Ukrainians a say in electing
presidents in the country. Through this system, a presidential aspirant will
have to win 300 votes in the Supreme Rada.
Other constitutional amendments will include extending legislatorsĺ─˘ term in
the Rada from four to five years and a proportional voting system in future
parliamentary elections, effective from 2006.
However, a public-opinion poll conducted by Ukrainian Center of Economical and
Political Studies shows that 86.5 percent of respondents want the president to
be elected by direct national vote, compared to only 4.7 percent who want the
Supreme Rada to elect the president. The pollsters did not indicate the
surveyĺ─˘s percentage error in their results.