The Law on Democracy through an all-Ukrainian Referendum, introduced today by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, was published on the website of the Verkhovna Rada.
According to the text of the bill, decisions adopted by the referendum can be changed by an all-Ukrainian referendum not earlier than three years from the date of its adoption. The results of the referendum do not have to be approved by any state body.
The subject of the all-Ukrainian referendum may be about:
- approval of amendments to Sections I (General Principles), III (Elections. Referendum), XIII (Amendments to the Constitution) of the Constitution;
- decisions on issues of national importance;
- approval of the law on ratification of an international agreement, which provides for the change of the territory of Ukraine;
- termination of the law or some of its provisions.
At the same time, the following issues cannot be subjects of an all-Ukrainian referendum:
- those which contradict the provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine, universally recognized principles and norms of international law, enshrined primarily in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and protocols to it;
- those aimed at eliminating the independence of Ukraine, violating the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, creating a threat to the national security of Ukraine, inciting interethnic, racial and religious hatred;
- concerning bills on taxes, budget, amnesty;
- those entrusted by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine to the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies, prosecutors or courts.
The document also expands the range of subjects of the referendum process who are registered in the Central Election Commission as supporters or opponents of the all-Ukrainian referendum. These can be both political parties and public organizations registered with the Central Election Commission.
In order to organize and hold an all-Ukrainian referendum, the law proposes to create automated information and analytical system to ensure electronic voting.
The explanatory note states that the most difficult thing in electronic voting is to technically protect the personal data of voters and protect such voting systems from unauthorized interference.
The document sets the term of constitutional proceedings: it may not exceed 30 calendar days for cases on providing an conclusion on the constitutionality of the issue proposed for submission to the all-Ukrainian referendum on the people's initiative, of an international treaty that provides for change of the territory of Ukraine, which is submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for consent as to its binding nature.
Referendum upon people's initiative
In order to hold a referendum on the people's initiative, at least three million Ukrainians should make a demand. The signatures for holding it have to be collected in more than two thirds of administrative-territorial units of our state and with over 100,000 signatures in each of them.
No later than on the fifteenth day after receiving the CEC decision on the results of collecting signatures of Ukrainian citizens, the President shall issue a decree declaring such a referendum stating the date (the last Sunday of the 60-day period from the date of the decree) and issues to a referendum.
The issue of this referendum may be the repeal of the law of Ukraine or some of its provisions.
The text of the draft law on termination of the law of Ukraine or its separate provisions, which is proposed for all-Ukrainian referendum on the people's initiative, cannot be changed after it is approved by the majority of registered participants in such a referendum.
Referendum to change the territory
Such a referendum is set by a resolution of the Verkhovna Rada.
The document emphasizes that the all-Ukrainian referendum on changing the territory of Ukraine is a form in which the citizens of Ukraine who have the right to vote, make a decision (approved by the Verkhovna Rada) to adopt the law on ratification of an international agreement on changing the territory of Ukraine.
Referendum on approval of amendments to sections of the Constitution
Such a referendum approves a bill on relevant amendments to the Constitution, which was previously adopted by the Verkhovna Rada.
It is President who assigns an All-Ukrainian Referendum on approval of amendments to Section I General Principles, Section III Elections.Referendum and Section XIII Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine of the Constitution.
As you know, the text of this document was published on the parliament's website on March 4, and its public discussion began since.