Verkhovna Rada

From Academic Kids

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Verkhovna Rada. 2005 Inauguration

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (in Ukrainian: Верховна Рада України; English "Supreme Council") is the official name of Ukraine's unicameral parliament.

The national Verkhovna Rada should not be confused with the Crimean Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian: Верховна Рада Автономної Республіки Крим), the legislature of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea.



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Verkhovna Rada of Ukrainian SSR. 1938

The name as a whole originates from a Soviet political tradition where a vertical system of Soviets (councils, rady) existed.

Verkhovna, an adjective of feminine gender, is a neologism of the second quarter of the 20th century. It was borrowed from Russian and means "supreme". However, few native speakers will now recognize its foreign origin.

Rada, a noun of feminine gender, is an authentic Ukrainian word meaning "council", which has common root with Latin ratio. Since at least Middle Ages it signifies a group of individuals who gathered for the purpose of electing an official or enacting legislation.


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Verkhovna Rada. 2004

The first convocation of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR) assembled for the first session in 1938.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukrainian SSR of the twelfth convocation proclaimed the state sovereignty of Ukraine on July 16, 1990, and declared Ukraine's independence and the creation of the Ukrainian State on August 24, 1991, at approximately 6pm local time.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the thirteenth convocation adopted the Constitution of Ukraine on June 28, 1996, at approximately 9am local time.

The parliament of the fourteenth convocation officially changed the numbering of the convocations proclaiming itself the Verkhovna Rada of the third convocation.

The Verkhovna Rada of the fourth (fifteenth) convocation amended the Constitution on December 8, 2004.

Meeting place

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Verkhovna Rada. Facade

The parliament meets in a neo-classical building on Kyiv's Hrushevs'koho St., which adjoins a picturesque park and the rastrelliesque 18th century Mariyins'ky Palace (the ceremonial residence of the President).

Verkhovna Rada. Back
Verkhovna Rada. Back

Mission and authority

The Verkhovna Rada is the sole body of legislative power in Ukraine. The parliament determines the principles of domestic and foreign policy, introduces amendments to the constitution, adopts laws, approves the state budget, designates elections of the President of Ukraine, impeaches the president, declares war and peace, gives consent to the appointment of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, appoints or approves appointment of certain officials, appoints one-third of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, elects judges for permanent terms, ratifies and denounces international treaties, and exercises certain control functions.


The Verkhovna Rada is a unicameral legislature with 450 deputies (Ukrainian singular: народний депутат, narodnyy deputat) elected on the basis of equal and direct universal suffrage through a secret ballot.

The parliament elects from among its ranks the Chairman (Speaker, Ukrainian: Голова Верховної Ради), the First Deputy Chairman, and the Deputy Chairman. The Chairman presides at parliamentary meetings, signs parliamentary acts, organises staff work, etc.

The deputies possess a full personal legal immunity during the term of office. On the one hand, this may help certain individuals avoid criminal responsibility; on the other hand, the immunity serves as a guarantee for the existence of political opposition.


Dramatic political development of Ukraine has caused recurrent changes of the parliamentary electoral system. Each convocation of the Verkhovna Rada has been elected under a different set of laws (gradually evolving from the purely majoritarian scheme of the Soviet era to a purely proportional scheme, effective in 2006 under the transitional provisions of the constitutional amendments). The acting parliament was formed in 2002 according to a mixed majoritarian and proportional representation system. Under the election law of 2001 (as well as the previous electoral law of 1997), 225 of the Rada's seats were allocated on a proportional basis to those parties that gained 4% of the national vote in the parliamentary elections of 2002. The other 225 members were elected by popular vote in single-mandate constituencies.

Elections results and seats controlled

Parliamentary election 2002: (31 March), percent of vote by party:

Seats by faction: as of April 13, 2005 (may rapidly change)

  • Our Ukraine 87
  • Communist Party 56
  • Regions of Ukraine 52
  • unaffiliated 34
  • People's Party 32
  • Socialist Party 29
  • Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc 26
  • Ukrainian People's Party 24
  • Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United) 22
  • United Ukraine (Yedyna Ukrayina) Party 21
  • Democratic Ukraine group 19
  • Manufacturers and Entrepreneurs of Ukraine Party 17
  • Union group 14
  • Democratic Initiatives group 14

Note: minimal required number of seats is 14.

1998 Ukrainian parliamentary election (29 March 1998), percent of vote by party:

  • Communist 24.7%
  • Rukh (combined) 9.4%
  • Socialist/Peasant 8.6%
  • Green Party 5.3%
  • People's Democratic Party 5.0%
  • Hromada 4.7%
  • Progressive Socialist 4.0%
  • Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United) 4.0%

Seats by party/faction (as of 25 February 2000):

  • Communist 115
  • PRVU 36
  • "Fatherland" Party 35
  • Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United) 34
  • People's Democratic Party 27
  • Trudova Ukrayina 27
  • Rukh (K) 27
  • Left-center 23
  • Green Party 18
  • Rukh (U) 17
  • Peasant Party 15
  • Hromada 14
  • Reforms Congress 12
  • independent and unaffiliated 45
  • vacant 5

See also

External links

fr:Verkhovna Rada nl:Verchovna Rada no:Verkhovna Rada pl:Rada Najwyższa Ukrainy ru:Верховная Рада Украины uk:Верховна Рада України


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