Reanimation package of reforms > News > Statements > The RPR Coalition calls the President to Abandon the Initiative to Hold a Nationwide Poll on October 25, 2020

The RPR Coalition calls the President to Abandon the Initiative to Hold a Nationwide Poll on October 25, 2020


On 13 October 2020, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky published a video message on the official Facebook page of the Office of the President of Ukraine where he announced his intention to hold a nationwide poll on the day of the local elections, 25 October 2020, on the five questions without defining them.

According to Article 19 of the Constitution of Ukraine, state authorities, local self-government bodies, and their officials are obliged to act only on the basis, within the powers, and in the manner prescribed by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine. To date, there is no legal basis for organization and execution of any nationwide polls (de facto consultative referendums) by any authorities or their officials, or for the combination of such initiatives with regular or snap elections. According to Article 106 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the powers of the President of Ukraine are determined exclusively by the Constitution of Ukraine. The Constitution does not allow the Head of State to announce or appoint popular polls (except in case of announcing a nationwide referendum on the people’s initiative at the request of at least three million citizens of Ukraine who are eligible to vote).

The Constitution of Ukraine stipulates that expression of popular will is carried out through elections, referendums, and other forms of direct democracy (Article 69), however, the organization and procedure of elections and referendums are determined exclusively by law (paragraph 20 of the Article 92). Draft Law 3612 on democracy through all-Ukraine referendum submitted by the President of Ukraine was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 18 June 2020 only in the first reading. This draft law does not provide for the possibility of conducting such polls, and there is no separate legislative initiative to regulate the execution of nationwide polls.

At the same time, we emphasize that consultation in the form of a nationwide poll is a vital mechanism of studying voters’ opinion. However, the effective democratic application of this instrument of democracy requires a clear and legally determined procedure. True democracy rests on a transparent and legally defined process, not an imitation of the instruments of popular sovereignty that could lead to manipulation of the democratic institutions.

Proclamation of a nationwide poll twelve days before the day of local elections without a law regulating the procedure for preparing and conducting such a poll is illegitimate in terms of its initiation and organization, as well as capable of undermining the credibility of the results of such a poll and their use.

In view of the aforementioned, the Reanimation Package of Reforms Coalition calls for:

  1. The President – to abandon the initiative to conduct a nationwide poll on 25 October 2020, the day of the local elections, without formulating the poll questions in advance and in the absence of a legislative procedure for conducting such a poll.
  2. The Parliament – to refrain from adjusting election procedures on the eve of election day.

You can join the statement by following the link.

The statement was also supported by:

  1. Centre of Policy and Legal Reform
  2. Centre for Research of Liberation Movement
  3. Detector Media
  4. Ukrainian Centre for Independent Political Research
  5. Life NGO
  6. Committee of Voters of Ukraine
  7. Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation
  8. Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting
  9. Civil Society Institute
  10. Centre for Innovations Development
  11. Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law
  12. Institute of Mass Information
  13. National Association of Media
  14. Hromadske Radio
  15. Internews Ukraine
  16. Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy
  17. Souspilnist Foundation
  18. Center for Political Studies Doctrine
  19. Dnieper Centre For Social Studies
  20. Centre for Urban Development
  21. SOS Advocacy NGO
  22. Ukrainian Bar Association
  23. Ukrainian Deceived NGO
  24. Expert Centre for Human Rights
  25. Cultural-Educational Center Salem