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CONSTITUTION OF UKRAINE

Adopted at the Fifth Session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 28 June 1996,

as amended by the Law

No. 2222-IV On Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine adopted on 8 December 2004

(relevant part)

(emphasis added)

Chapter I

General Principles

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Article 5.

Ukraine is a republic.

The people are the bearers of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine. The people exercise power directly and through bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government.

The right to determine and change the constitutional order in Ukraine belongs exclusively to the people and shall not be usurped by the State, its bodies or officials.

No one shall usurp state power.

Article 15.

Social life in Ukraine is based on the principles of political, economic and ideological diversity.

No ideology shall be recognised by the State as mandatory.

Censorship is prohibited.

The State guarantees freedom of political activity not prohibited by the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

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Chapter II

Human and Citizens' Rights, Freedoms and Duties

Article 32.

No one shall be subject to interference in his or her personal and family life, except in cases envisaged by the Constitution of Ukraine.

The collection, storage, use and dissemination of confidential information about a person without his or her consent shall not be permitted, except in cases determined by law, and only in the interests of national security, economic welfare and human rights.

Every citizen has the right to examine information about himself or herself, that is not a state secret or other secret protected by law, at the bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government, institutions and organisations.

Everyone is guaranteed judicial protection of the right to rectify incorrect information about himself or herself and members of his or her family, and of the right to demand that any type of information be expunged, and also the right to compensation for material and moral damages inflicted by the collection, storage, use and dissemination of such incorrect information.

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Article 34.

Everyone is guaranteed the right to freedom of thought and speech, and to the free expression of his or her views and beliefs.

Everyone has the right to freely collect, store, use and disseminate information by oral, written or other means of his or her choice.

The exercise of these rights may be restricted by law in the interests of national security, territorial indivisibility or public order, with the purpose of preventing disturbances or crimes, protecting the health of the population, the reputation or rights of other persons, preventing the publication of information received confidentially, or supporting the authority and impartiality of justice.

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Article 36.

Citizens of Ukraine have the right to freedom of association in political parties and public organisations for the exercise and protection of their rights and freedoms and for the satisfaction of their political, economic, social, cultural and other i nterests, with the exception of restrictions established by law in the interests of national security and public order, the protection of the health of the population or the protection of rights and freedoms of other persons.

Political parties in Ukraine promote the formation and expression of the political will of citizens, and participate in elections. Only citizens of Ukraine may be members of political parties. Restrictions on membership in political parties are established exclusively by this Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

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No one may be forced to join any association of citizens or be restricted in his or her rights for belonging or not belonging to political parties or public organisations.

All associations of citizens are equal before the law.

Article 37.

The establishment and activity of political parties and public associations are prohibited if their programme goals or actions are aimed at the liquidation of the independence of Ukraine, the change of the constitutional order by violent means, the violation of the sovereignty and territorial indivisibility of the State, the undermining of its security, the unlawful seizure of state power, the propaganda of war and of violence, the incitement of inter-ethnic, racial, or religious enmity, and the encroachments on human rights and freedoms and the health of the population.

Political parties and public associations shall not have paramilitary formations.

The creation and activity of organisational structures of political parties shall not be permitted within bodies of executive and judicial power and executive bodies of local self-government, in military formations, and also in state enterprises, educational establishments and other state institutions and organisations.

The prohibition of the activity of associations of citizens is exercised only through judicial procedure.

Article 38.

Citizens have the right to participate in the administration of state affairs, in All-Ukrainian and local referendums, to freely elect and to be elected to bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government.

Citizens enjoy the equal right of access to the civil service and to service in bodies of local self-government.

Article 39.

Citizens have the right to assemble peacefully without arms and to hold meetings, rallies, processions and demonstrations, upon notifying in advance the bodies of executive power or bodies of local self-government.

Restrictions on the exercise of this right may be established by a court in accordance with the law and only in the interests of national security and public order, with the purpose of preventing disturbances or crimes, protecting the health of the population, or protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons.

Article 40.

Everyone has the right to file individual or collective petitions, or to personally appeal to bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government, and to the officials and officers of these bodies, that are obliged to consider the petitions and to provide a substantiated reply within the term established by law.

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Chapter III

Elections. Referendum

Article 69.

The expression of the will of the people is exercised through elections, referendum and other forms of direct democracy.

Article 70.

Citizens of Ukraine who have attained the age of eighteen on the day elections and referendums are held, have the right to vote at the elections and referendums.

Citizens deemed by a court to be incompetent do not have the right to vote.

Article 71.

Elections to bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government are free and are held on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage, by secret ballot.

Voters are guaranteed the free expression of their will.

Article 72.

An All-Ukrainian referendum is designated by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or by the President of Ukraine, in accordance with their authority established by this Constitution.

An All-Ukrainian referendum is called on popular initiative on the request of no less than three million citizens of Ukraine who have the right to vote, on the condition that the signatures in favour of designating the referendum have been collected i n no less than two-thirds of the oblasts, with no less than 100 000 signatures in each oblast.

Article 73.

Issues of altering the territory of Ukraine are resolved exclusively by an All-Ukrainian referendum.

Article 74.

A referendum shall not be permitted in regard to draft laws on issues of taxes, the budget and amnesty.

Chapter IV

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

Article 75.

The sole body of legislative power in Ukraine is the Parliament - the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 76.

(amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

The constitutional membership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is 450 National Deputies of Ukraine who are elected on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage, by secret ballot.

Any citizen of Ukraine who has attained the age of twenty-one on the day of elections, has the right to vote, and has resided in Ukraine for the past five years, shall be eligible to be elected a National Deputy of Ukraine.

A citizen who has a criminal record for committing an intentional crime shall not be eligible to be elected to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine if the record has not been cancelled and erased under the procedure established by law.

The powers of National Deputies of Ukraine are determined by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is elected for a term of five years.

Article 77.

(Par. 1 amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

Regular elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine take place on the last Sunday of the last month of the fifth year of the duration of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Special elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are designated by the President of Ukraine and are held within sixty days from the day of the publication of the decision on the pre-term termination of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The procedure for conducting elections of National Deputies of Ukraine is established by law.

Article 78.

(amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

National Deputies of Ukraine exercise their powers on a permanent basis.

A National Deputy of Ukraine shall not have any other representative mandate, be in the civil service, hold any other paid offices, carry out gainful or business activity (with the exception of teaching, scientific, and creative activities), or to be a member of the administration/governing body of a profit-seeking enterprise or organisation.

Requirements concerning the incompatibility of the deputy’s mandate with other types of activity are established by law.

Where there emerge circumstances preventing the National Deputy of Ukraine from fulfilling a requirement concerning incompatibility of the deputy’s mandate with other types of activity, the National Deputy of Ukraine shall within twenty days from the date of the emergence of such circumstances shall withdraw from the business concerned or apply personally for divesting himself or herself of National Deputy powers;

Article 79.

Before assuming office, National Deputies of Ukraine take the following oath before the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine:

"I swear allegiance to Ukraine. I commit myself with all my deeds to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to provide for the good of the Motherland and for the welfare of the Ukrainian people. I swear to abide by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, to carry out my duties in the interests of all compatriots."

The oath is read by the eldest National Deputy of Ukraine before the opening of the first session of the newly-elected Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, after which the deputies affirm the oath with their signatures below its text.

The refusal to take the oath results in the loss of the mandate of the deputy.

The authority of National Deputies of Ukraine commences from the moment of the taking of the oath.

Article 80.

National Deputies of Ukraine are guaranteed parliamentary immunity.

National Deputies of Ukraine are not legally liable for the results of voting or for statements made in Parliament and in its bodies, with the exception of liability for insult or defamation.

National Deputies of Ukraine shall not be held criminally liable, detained or arrested without the consent of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 81

(amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

Powers of National Deputies of Ukraine shall terminate simultaneously with the termination of powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Powers of a National Deputy of Ukraine shall terminate prior to the expiration of his or her term in office in the event of:

The pre-term termination of powers a National Deputy of Ukraine shall also be caused by the early termination, under the Constitution of Ukraine, of powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, with such termination of the Deputy’s powers taking effect on the date when the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of a new convocation opens its first meeting.

A decision on early termination of powers a National Deputy of Ukraine on grounds referred to in subparagraphs (1), (4) of the second paragraph of this Article shall fall within the competence the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, while the ground referred to in subparagraph (5) of the second paragraph of this Article shall be a matter to be decided by court.

Where a guilty verdict against a National Deputy of Ukraine enters into legal force or where a court declares a National Deputy of Ukraine incapacitated or missing, his or her powers terminate on the date when the court decision becomes legally effective, while in the event of the Deputy’s death on the date of his or her death as certified by the relevant document.

Where a National Deputy of Ukraine, as having been elected from a political party (an electoral bloc of political parties), fails to join the parliamentary faction representing the same political party (the same electoral bloc of political parties) or withdraws from such a faction, the highest steering body of the respective political party (electoral bloc of political parties) shall decide to terminate early his or her powers on the basis of a law, with the termination taking effect on the date of such a decision.

Article 85

(amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

Powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall include:

Article 90

(amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

Powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall terminate on the date when the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of a new convocation opens its first meeting.

The President of Ukraine may order the early termination of powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine where:

The early termination of powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be decided by the President of Ukraine following relevant consultations with the Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and with Chairpersons of Verkhovna Rada parliamentary factions.

Powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which convenes following special elections conducted after the pre-term termination by the President of Ukraine of powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the previous convocation, shall not terminate within one year from the day of its election.

The pre-term termination of powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine may not be caused during the last six months of its term or of the term of the President of Ukraine.

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Article 92.

The following are determined exclusively by the laws of Ukraine:

Chapter V

President of Ukraine

Article 103.

(Par. 5 amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

The President of Ukraine is elected by the citizens of Ukraine for a five-year term, on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage, by secret ballot.

A citizen of Ukraine who has attained the age of thirty-five, has the right to vote, has resided in Ukraine for the past ten years prior to the day of elections, and has command of the state language, may be elected as the President of Ukraine.

One and the same person shall not be the President of Ukraine for more than two consecutive terms.

The President of Ukraine shall not have another representative mandate, hold office in bodies of state power or in associations of citizens, and also perform any other paid or entrepreneurial activity, or be a member of an administrative body or board of supervisors of an enterprise that is aimed at making profit.

The regular election of a new President of Ukraine shall take place [before the expiry of the powers of the President of Ukraine in office] on the last Sunday of the last month of the fifth year of his or her term of office.  In the event of pre-term termination of powers of the President of Ukraine, the election of the President of Ukraine is held within ninety days from the date of termination of his or her powers.

The procedure for conducting elections of the President of Ukraine is established by law.

Article 104.

The newly-elected President of Ukraine assumes office no later than in thirty days after the official announcement of the election results, from the moment of taking the oath to the people at a ceremonial meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine administers the oath to the President of Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine takes the following oath:

"I, (name and surname), elected by the will of the people as the President of Ukraine, assuming this high office, do solemnly swear allegiance to Ukraine. I pledge with all my undertakings to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to provide for the good of the Motherland and the welfare of the Ukrainian people, to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, to abide by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, to exercise my duties in the interests of all compatriots, and t o enhance the prestige of Ukraine in the world."

The President of Ukraine, elected by special elections, takes the oath within five days after the official announcement of the election results.

Article 105.

The President of Ukraine enjoys the right of immunity during the term of authority.

Persons guilty of offending the honour and dignity of the President of Ukraine are brought to responsibility on the basis of the law.

The title of President of Ukraine is protected by law and is reserved for the President for life, unless the President of Ukraine has been removed from office by the procedure of impeachment.

Article 106.

(Subpar. 8-16, 19, 22, 30 and par. 4 amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

The President of Ukraine:

Chapter X

Autonomous Republic of Crimea

Article 138.

The competence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea comprises:

Chapter XI

Local Self-Government

Article 140.

Local self-government is the right of a territorial community - residents of a village or a voluntary association of residents of several villages into one village community, residents of a settlement, and of a city - to independently resolve issues o f local character within the limits of the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

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Article 141.

(Par. 1 amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

The council of a village, town, city, district, or of an oblast is composed of deputies elected for a five-year term by residents of this village, town, city, district, or of the oblast on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage and by secret ballot.

Territorial communities elect for a four-year-term on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage, by secret ballot, the head of the village, settlement and city, respectively, who leads the executive body of the council and presides at its meetings.

The status of heads, deputies and executive bodies of a council and their authority, the procedure for their establishment, reorganisation and liquidation, are determined by law.

The chairman of a district council and the chairman of an oblast council are elected by the respective council and lead the executive staff of the council.

Article 143.

Territorial communities of a village, settlement and city, directly or through the bodies of local self-government established by them, manage the property that is in communal ownership; approve programmes of socio-economic and cultural development, and control their implementation; approve budgets of the respective administrative and territorial units, and control their implementation; establish local taxes and levies in accordance with the law; ensure the holding of local referendums and the implementation of their results; establish, reorganise and liquidate communal enterprises, organisations and institutions, and also exercise control over their activity; resolve other issues of local importance ascribed to their competence by law.

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Chapter XIII

Introducing Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine

Article 155.

A draft law on introducing amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, with the exception of Chapter I - "General Principles," Chapter III - "Elections. Referendum," and Chapter XIII - "Introducing Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine," previously adopted by the majority of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, is deemed to be adopted, if at the next regular session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, no less than two-thirds of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine have voted in favour thereof.

Article 156.

A draft law on introducing amendments to Chapter I - "General Principles," Chapter III - "Elections. Referendum," and Chapter XIII - "Introducing Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine," is submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by the President of Ukraine, or by no less than two-thirds of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and on the condition that it is adopted by no less than two-thirds of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and is approved by an All-Ukrainian referendum designated by the President of Ukraine.

The repeat submission of a draft law on introducing amendments to Chapters I, III and XIII of this Constitution on one and the same issue is possible only to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the next convocation.

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