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Without playing with fire: the draft law on the All-Ukrainian referendum establishes clear procedures and appropriate preventive mechanisms against manipulations

Constitutional order /

Experts on the draft law "On democracy through the all-Ukrainian referendum".

On June 9, the President of Ukraine submitted to the Parliament a draft law "On Popular Rule through an All-Ukrainian Referendum”, which should legally regulate the right of the Ukrainian people to a referendum, as provided by the Constitution. On 11 June, during the press conference "Referendum from the President: what to expect from the draft law", the basis on which the experts relied in elaborating the draft law, its main provisions, innovations and conclusions were discussed.

Ihor Koliushko, Head of the Office of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform briefed the audience about the history of the referendum legislation in Ukraine.

Julia Kуrуchenko, co-chair of the Council of the Coalition of the Ukrainian Republican Party (RPR), a member of the board of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform and a member of the working group for draft laws on democracy positively commented on the procedure of preparation of the draft law "On Popular Rule through an All-Ukrainian Referendum” and emphasized some provisions of the draft law. In addition to that, she noted the difficulty of regulating the provisions of the draft law, which provide for the possibility of electronic voting.

Denis Kovrуzhenko, IFES expert also paid attention to the issue of electronic voting.

The draft law has already been registered as urgent. Therefore, we should expect its consideration by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine soon. Its adoption will create a legislative basis for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to a referendum.

Summing up, Olha Aіvazovska, the chairman of the board of the OPORA Civic Network claimed that the national referendum is an instrument of citizens' participation in state governance envisaged by the Constitution of Ukraine.

The event was organized by the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform with the support of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the British Government's assistance in partnership with the OPORA Civic Network and the Reanimation Package of Reforms.