Photo from UNIAN, Oleksandr Kuzmin

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, on January 26 passed a bill on the national referendum.

Bill No. 3612, which had been tabled in the Rada by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, was backed by 255 MPs, an UNIAN correspondent reports.

The document determines the possibility of holding an e-referendum, but only after a separate law is adopted that would regulate the relevant procedure.

Read alsoUkraine needs no Russian advice on language issue – NSDC secretaryThe bill says the national referendum shall not be held simultaneously with regular and snap national elections, as well as regular local elections.

A referendum on a popular initiative is proclaimed by President in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine. The national referendum on a popular initiative is proclaimed at the request of at least 3 million Ukrainian citizens who have the right to vote provided that signatures for the appointment of the referendum have been collected in at least two-thirds of the regions with at least 100,000 signatures secured in each such region.

In case of the introduction of martial law or a state of emergency in Ukraine or certain regions, the appointment (announcement) and holding of the national referendum shall be prohibited. In accordance with the law, only one issue shall be submitted to each referendum.

According to the bill, the following issues may be decided at a national referendum:

  • Approval of the law on amendments to sections I, III, XIII of the Constitution of Ukraine;
  • Issues of altering Ukraine borders; and
  • Expiration of a law or its individual provisions.

The following issues shall not be a subject of a national referendum:

  • Issues that contradict the provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine, generally recognized principles and norms of international law, first of all, enshrined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and protocols thereto;
  • Issues canceling or restricting constitutional human and civil rights and freedoms and guarantees of their implementation;
  • Issues aimed at eliminating the independence of Ukraine, violating state sovereignty, territorial integrity of Ukraine, creating a threat to the national security of Ukraine, inciting interethnic, racial, and religious enmity;
  • Issues of taxes, budget, pardon; and

Issues referred by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine to the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies, the prosecutor's office or court.

Background

On June 9, 2020, bill No. 3612 on the national referendum was tabled by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in parliament.