On August 24, 1991, Ukraine proclaimed its independence and during the referendum held on the 1st of December of the same year, the Ukrainian people confirmed their choice of independent development by saying “yes” to it. Leonid Kravchuk was elected the first President of a newly independent Ukraine. Ukraine faced a multitude of very difficult tasks which to be solved within a short period of time: a new political system had to be built; new statehood principles based on law had to be introduced; a new system of national security and defense had to be created. In 1996 the new Constitution was adopted.
General foundations of the political system of Ukraine are defined by its Constitution. In accordance with its law, Ukraine is a sovereign and independent, democratic, social and jural state. State power is divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches, acting within their competence. The Constitution envisages the principle of political, economic and ideological diversity of social life. According to the Constitution, the main task of state is to establish and promote human rights and freedoms.
Ukraine is a unitary state, in which its territory is integral and inviolable. The state has a single citizenship. The state language of Ukraine is Ukrainian. According to the Constitution, the state symbols of Ukraine are the State Flag of Ukraine (a banner of two equally-sized horizontal bands of blue and yellow), the State Coat of arms of Ukraine (“the Trident”, based on the emblem of the Rurik Dynasty), and the State Anthem of Ukraine, which is “Ukraine’s glory has not perished.”
The Constitution of Ukraine designates the President as the Head of State, acting in its behalf. The President, elected by the citizens of the state through a secret vote, is a guarantor of national sovereignty, territorial integrity, adherence to the Constitution, human and civil rights and freedoms.
The only legislative body of Ukraine is the Parliament – the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. 450 people’s deputies of Ukraine are elected by the citizens of Ukraine on the basis of mixed (majority and proportional) election system.
The Cabinet of Ministers (Government) of Ukraine is the supreme executive authority. The Government is responsible to the President and is controlled by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to which it also must report. In practice, this dependency results in presidential appointment of the Prime Minister (with parliamentary consent). The President may also suspend Prime Minister’s authorities and discharge him.
Legal proceedings are carried out by the Constitutional Court and courts of general jurisdiction. The supreme authority of the system of courts of general jurisdiction is the Supreme Court of Ukraine. Legal proceedings may be carried out only by courts. Courts jurisdiction covers all legal relationships in the state. The system of courts of general jurisdiction is based on the principles of territorial and special jurisdiction.
1. When did Ukraine proclaim its independence?
2. Who was elected the first President of Ukraine?
3. What new tasks did Ukraine face?
4. State power in Ukraine is divided into legislative and executive, isn’t it?
5. What is the main task of the state according to the Constitution?
6. What are the state symbols of Ukraine?
7. Who is the Head of State?
8. How is the President elected?
9. Is the only legislative body of Ukraine the Parliament or the Government?
10. Who appoints the Prime Minister?
11. What is the supreme authority of the system of courts of general jurisdiction?