Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has congratulated the nation on the adoption of a bill on the national referendum.

In his video blog, he said the relevant draft law provides an opportunity for all citizens of Ukraine to make important decisions on the country's life, while politicians who are losing some of their influence are trying to criticize the bill.

"Perhaps you've noticed that this is already a pattern: if public supports something, while politicians oppose it, this means something is being taken from politicians. This was the case when we abolished parliamentary immunity, and this is what happened now. This is a disaster for some, because now important decisions will be made not by them, but by all citizens of Ukraine, at a referendum," Zelensky said.

The president said the adoption of the relevant bill was among the points of his election campaign.

Read alsoZelensky elaborates on bill to reduce number of legislators"We promised it and we delivered. My congratulations to the people of Ukraine, my condolences to some parties," he said.

Zelensky added some MPs had spoken out against this bill, but now they have changed their position. He also expressed the hope there would be fewer MPs in the future who "change their shoes" so quickly.

"It is believed, a cheetah is the fastest animal on planet. In fact, it's not. It's some lawmakers with their speed of turning coats. At first, they were categorically against the referendum, but now they are initiating a referendum on five issues, or more. I think the Facepalm meme could become the official logo of this political force. And a slogan: '20 years on the side-flipping market!'" Zelensky said.

National referendum bill: Background

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

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

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.

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 bill also defines issues that cannot be a subject of a national referendum.