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Expert discussion of the draft law on all-Ukrainian referendum took place

Constitutional order /

On May 26, an expert discussion of the draft law on all-Ukrainian referendum took place. The members of the working group who worked on the document, as well as Ukrainian and international experts participated in the event.

Welcoming remarks were made by Ruslan Stefanchuk, First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and head of the working group for draft laws on democracy; Simon Pidoux, Deputy Ambassador of Switzerland to Ukraine; and Peter Erben, Director of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Ukraine (IFES).

Julia Kyrусhenko, Head of the Constitutional Law Projects at the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform, briefed the audience on the provisions of the draft law. The expert has drawn special attention to the document's novelties, as public organizations will act as subjects of a referendum process for the first time having registered as proponents or opponents of the submitted issue. Furthermore, it is envisaged that MPs or the President of Ukraine may apply to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to check the issues submitted to a referendum on people's initiative for compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine. However, there are also controversial points: the number of issues that can be submitted to one referendum. Although the draft law does not record more than three issues, not everyone agrees with this approach. In particular, the CPLR experts are convinced that solely one issue should be discussed at one referendum.

In addition to that, Bruno Kaufmann, expert from the Swiss Embassy as well as D. Kovrizhenko from IFES shared the results of the international examination of this document, pointing out to its positive provisions, shortcomings and providing recommendations on how it can be improved.

Moreover, Olрa Aivazovska, OPORA Civic Network Head of the Office, Vladyslav Fedorenko, Ph. D., Doctor of Law, Oksana Klymenko, representative of the Institute of Legislation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and Borys Malyshev, expert of the Ukrainian Institute for Direct Democracy shared their views on the draft law.

The text of the draft law can be found at the website of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.