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Development and transformation of Ukrainian political institutions: from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to independent Ukraine Short historical.

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Presentation on theme: "Development and transformation of Ukrainian political institutions: from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to independent Ukraine Short historical."— Presentation transcript:


2 Development and transformation of Ukrainian political institutions: from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to independent Ukraine Short historical overview of the formation of Ukrainian state in its current territory The institutional framework: The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic: 1919-1991 –The system of the Soviets –Territorial and administrative division –The political community The passage to independence (1989-1991) Ukraine after the 1996 Constitution –Adoption of the constitution –Competences of the branches of power –Semi-presidential / president-parliamentary configuration of powers Centre-periphery relations Institutional change: the 2004 reforms

3 Historical overview of the formation of Ukrainian state in its current territory Ukraine in its present borders exists as an independent state only since 1991. Historically: –five main regions in contemporary Ukraine according to their varying experience of foreign rule and the way they became a part of Ukraine in its current borders.

4 The former Habsburg regions in the far west – southwest

5 Western Volhynia – the north-western region of Ukraine

6 The areas to the right of the Dnieper River

7 The areas to the left of the Dnieper River and the lands to the east

8 The former Ottoman lands of the Black Sea coast

9 Crimean peninsula

10 The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic Created on 25 December, 1917. In December 1922 became a member of the Soviet Union. Administrative, economic and cultural institutions were provided by Moscow The decision-making powers were removed from the republican institutions and given to the Communist Party of Ukraine which was an integral part of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Institutional structure consisted of the Soviets of People’s Deputies The Supreme Soviet (the peak of the hierarchy of Soviets) was the highest state body in the republic with exclusive legislative powers and the prerogative to decide on any matter within the republican jurisdiction. The Supreme Soviet remained under the guidance of the Communist Party → rule of a single party (CPSU).

11 Territorial and administrative division of the UkrSSR UkrSSR Oblast District (Raion) City District (Raion) Oblast KyivSevastopol 25 highly centralised model of statehood local and territorial governing bodies formed an integrated part of the state apparatus. state theory of self-government prevailed (the organs of the local self-government are not distinctive but are created and regulated by the state).

12 The passage to independence 1989 – replacement of the Volodymyr Shcherbytskyi (the first secretary of the CPU from 1972, an apparatchik strongly connected to the Moscow centre and strongly resistant to perestroika) by Volodymyr Ivashko – who was more committed to Gorbachev reforms, which meant the beginning of perestroika in Ukraine. 1989 – creation of the Popular Movement for Perestroika in Ukraine (Rukh) had more than 600,000 members but was limited to Western Ukraine and Kyiv and thus failed to initiate a bottom-up mobilisation capable of overturning the Soviet regime (unlike the Baltic states)

13 1990-1991 The main events that took place in this period are: –The republican Supreme Soviet elections (March 1990) Leonid Kravchuk who later became the first Ukrainian president, appointed the chairman of the Supreme Soviet Opposition (Narodna Rada faction) becomes more influential in the Supreme Soviet –The Declaration of Sovereignty (July 1990) proclaimed ‘the state sovereignty of Ukraine to be supreme; the autonomy, totality and indivisibility of the Republic’s power within its territory, and its independence and equality in external relations’. The CPU’s ‘leading role’ was de-legitimised by saying that ‘no political party, social organisation or any other association or person can represent the People of Ukraine’. –The Concept of the New Constitution (June 1991) Was based on the provisions of the Declaration of Sovereignty. –The republican presidency was established –The Act of Independence (August 1991) –The referendum on independence (December 1991) The Act of Independence was supported by more than 90% of the voters In the same vote Leonid Kravchuk was elected as the first president of Ukraine

14 Ukraine after the 1996 constitution July 1994 – Leonid Kuchma (was prime minister then) elected new president of Ukraine Ukrainian institutional framework was based on the 1978 constitution of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic → was quite inadequate for the task of constructing a democratic state. After a prolonged deadlock situation in the parliament, the Ukrainian constitution was adopted on 28 June 1996. Ukrainian current political system according to the constitution: ‘State power is exercised on the principle of its division into legislative, executive and judicial power’. The uni-cameral parliament (Verkhovna Rada in Ukrainian, which means ‘Supreme Council’) is the ‘sole body of legislative power’, whereas the president is ‘the head of state’ and ‘guarantor of state sovereignty and territorial indivisibility of Ukraine’. The cabinet of ministers is ‘the highest body in the system of bodies of executive power’. The judicial branch consists of courts of general and special jurisdiction as well as the Constitutional Court.

15 According to the constitution, the authority of the Parliament includes the right to: –Adopt laws and the budget of Ukraine –Approve the prime minister, as proposed by the president –Approve the programme of socio-economic development proposed by the cabinet of ministers –Determine the principles of domestic and foreign policy –Determine the organisation and activities of the agencies of the executive –Dismiss the cabinet in a no-confidence vote, although this right can be exercised only once a session and not within one year following the approval of its programme –Determine the organisation and activities of the bodies within the executive powers –Hear annual and special messages of the president of Ukraine on the domestic and foreign situation of Ukraine –Impeach the president in the event of treason or some other crime

16 The president was granted an extensive amount of legislative and non- legislative power: –Appoint the prime minister with the agreement of the Supreme Council –Appoint members of the cabinet of ministers and heads of central bodies of executive power proposed by the prime minister (without parliamentary consent) –Appoint one third of the Constitutional Court, the Council of the National Bank, as well as the Prosecutor General, and other central executive organs; –Create, restructure and abolish the executive agencies of the state –Revoke acts of the cabinet of ministers and the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea –Dismiss the prime minister and ministers –Initiate legislation –Have presidential draft laws considered by parliament as a priority –Veto parliamentary bills, although the veto can be overridden by a qualified majority of two thirds of the parliament –Issue decrees –Dissolve parliament if it cannot convene for thirty days during a plenary session

17 The cabinet of ministers, which is composed of the prime minister, the first vice-prime minister, three vice-prime ministers and the ministers, was allocated powers to: –Ensure state sovereignty and the economic independence of Ukraine –Implement domestic and foreign policy –Carry out execution of the constitution, the laws of Ukraine and the acts of the president –Ensure the implementation of the state policies, such as fiscal, investment, employment, education, etc. –Draft the state budget –Implement the state budget and submit a report to the Parliament –Issue resolutions and orders, within the limits of its competence, which are mandatory for the execution on the territory of Ukraine.

18 A semi-presidential model of government according to the classical Duverger definition: (1) the president of the republic is elected by universal suffrage; (2) he possesses considerable executive powers; (3) there is also a prime minister and ministers who possess executive and governmental powers and can stay in office only if the parliament does not show its opposition to them.

19 Matthew Shugart and John Carey make a distinction between president- parliamentary and premier-presidential regimes In Ukraine the constitution created a president-parliamentary system Two key features asymmetrical control over the cabinet (the president nominates and recalls it but parliament can take a vote of no-confidence in it) law making authority of the granted to the president

20 Two types of conflicts characteristic to the Ukrainian system: Executive – legislative confrontation between the president and parliament caused by overlapping authority between the president and parliament Intra-executive competition between the president and prime minister due to the fact that the cabinet is accountable to both the president and parliament

21 The Soviet-era administrative division was taken over into the new constitution Rigid vertical executive pyramid of the ‘regional state administration’ The heads of the local state administration (oblast and district level) are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister and are subordinated to the heads of administration at higher levels. Centre-periphery relations are not clarified in Ukraine Centre-periphery relations

22 Ukraine – state of regions but only one region (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea - ARC) enjoys territorial autonomy –Has its own constitution, parliament and a Council of Ministers –But is an inseparable part of Ukraine –Its constitution has to be approved by the Ukrainian Parliament –The prime minister of the ARC can be appointed or dismissed only with the consent of the president of Ukraine –The Supreme Council of the ARC can issue ‘normative and legal acts’ in specified areas that have to comply with the Constitution of Ukraine AND with laws passed by the Ukrainian Parliament –The court system of the ARC belongs to a unified system of courts of Ukraine –The ARC has no right to raise taxes

23 Constitutional reform In August 2002 president Kuchma launched an initiative to change the constitution → would bring Ukrainian system closer to parliamentarian models The reform package was signed in December 2004 and will come into effect in January 2006

24 Main changes: Parliament → the main beneficiary of the reform Will have the power to approve most – but not all – of the ministers, and to dismiss them individually or collectively It will be given the exclusive right to dismiss the cabinet Its term in office was extended from four to five years The speaker of parliament was designated to assume the duties of the president should the incumbent leave office before the end of his term.

25 Constitutional reform also gave more authority to the cabinet. It will be less dependent on the president in respect to its continuation in office Will have the authority to create, reorganize, or eliminate government bodies, To appoint and dismiss the heads of government agencies who are not members of the cabinet The term of office of the cabinet of ministers has been changed to coincide with the parliamentary rather than the presidential elections. When a new parliament is elected, a new cabinet will be named, strengthening the influence of parliament over the cabinet. New provisions will put the prime minister under parliamentary control

26 Positive effect of the changes : –They will undermine the constitutional basis for hyper-presidential rule –Allowing the prime minister to appoint most of the ministers → stronger prime minister relative to the president –Allowing parliament to dismiss individual ministers without throwing out the entire cabinet and forcing a crisis → stronger parliament’s control

27 Possible dangers The fact that the parliament has to create the majority to initiate the process of cabinet formation complicates this process The president still makes the final decisions about appointing and dismissing the heads of regional administrations. But the main danger is that parliament and president will fall to fighting over control of the government

28 Proportional Election Law In 2004 Ukraine enacted a fully proportional election law to replace the “mixed” system used in the 1998 and 2002 parliamentary elections. “Imperative mandate” Party system in Ukraine up to now: –Developed relatively late –Parties are formed in a top-down way and are centered around a personality rather than ideological principles –Party discipline in parliament very low –Frequent defection of the deputies –The presidents used these shortcomings to manipulate parliamentary voting

29 Positive effects of the new law Increase in parliament’s ability to function effectively and help to strengthen political parties. Possible dangers Lowers the threshold for entering parliament from 4 % to 3 % → one of the lowest proportional-representation thresholds in the world → larger number of parties – especially small parties – in parliament. The imperative mandate may make party leaders too powerful.

30 Current territorial-administrative model of the state Ukraine Oblast District (Raion) City District (Raion) Oblast ARC KyivSevastopol 24

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