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A weaker Ukrainian parliament and de facto presidential system? Zelensky’s constitutional reform initiatives

18.10.2019
Constitutional order /
Constitutional reform

The Constitutional Court should demand better clarity and coherence and parliament must seek to enhance the legitimacy and quality of the amendments through engaging the public and other stakeholders – writes Julia Kyrychenko.


On 29 August 2019, the first working day of the new Verkhovna Rada (Parliament), newly elected President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, initiated eight separate draft laws on amending the Constitution of Ukraine. Seven of the proposals are new initiatives. The initiatives go beyond his election campaign promises where he focused on recall of members of parliament and popular legislative initiatives. The president also supported an old initiative to abolish parliamentary immunity in criminal matters, despite concerns of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine reflected in its Opinion and recommendations of the Venice Commission on the inappropriateness of abolishing parliamentary immunity in a country with unstable democracy, such as Ukraine.

Julia Kyrychenko, the Head of Constitution Law Projects, and a board member of the Ukrainian Centre of Policy and Legal Reform, analized Zelensky’s constitutional reform initiatives special for CONSTITUTIONNET. 

Read more here.