Verkhovna Rada

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This article is about the Ukrainian parliament. For the Crimean regional legislature, see Verkhovna Rada of Crimea.

Coordinates: 50°26′50.3″N 30°32′12.6″E / 50.447306°N 30.536833°E / 50.447306; 30.536833

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
Верховна Рада України
7th Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada
Coat of arms or logo
Oleksandr TurchynovBatkivshchyna
since February 22, 2014
First Deputy Chairman
since February 22, 2014
Deputy Chairman
Ruslan Koshulynsky, All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda"[2]
since December 13, 2012[2]
Seats 450
Political groups

Government (237)

Opposition (114)

     Non-affiliated (93)[3]
Last election
28 October 2012
Next election
26 October 2014
Meeting place
Verkhovna Rada main session hall.jpg
Verkhovna Rada Building, Kiev, Ukraine
As of 21 February 2014 the parliament has 447 members.[4]

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Верхо́вна Ра́да Украї́ни, Ukrainian abbreviation ВРУ; literally Supreme Council of Ukraine, formerly also translated as the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine), often simply Verkhovna Rada or just Rada,[5] is Ukraine's parliament. The Verkhovna Rada is a unicameral parliament composed of 450 deputies, which is presided over by a chairman (speaker). It meets in the Verkhovna Rada building in Ukraine's capital Kiev.

The Verkhovna Rada was transformed from the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR that was first established in 1938 as the quasi-independent republic parliament of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic after the reorganization of Central Executive Committee of Ukrainian SSR. Since 1938, 17 convocations ("sessions") of the Verkhovna Rada have been held.

The Ukrainian SSR Verkhovna Rada of the 14th convocation (elected in 1990) declared independence of Ukraine, introduced dramatic reforms to all aspects of life, and officially changed the numbering of sessions, proclaiming itself the "Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine" of the third convocation. The current convocation of the parliament is the seventh one.

The Verkhovna Rada of the fourth convocation (elected in 1994) adopted the current Constitution of Ukraine, significantly redistributing some of its powers to the President of Ukraine. The next, 5th convocation Rada, amended the Constitution in 2004, bringing a period of parliamentary-presidential republic (marked by political rivalry between Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko) before the amendment was canceled by the 2010 decision of the Constitutional Court.

In the Verkhovna Rada elections, a mixed voting system is used (50% under party lists and 50% under simple-majority constituencies)[6] with a 5% election threshold.[7] The method of 50/50 mixed elections was used in the 2002 and 2012 elections; however, in 2007, the elections were held under a proportional system only.[8] The last election took place on 28 October 2012.[9] On August 26, 2014, Petro Poroshenko formally dissolved the current session of the Verkhovna Rada and called for early elections no later than October 26.[10]


The name Rada (Ukrainian: Рада) means "council". It originated in medieval Rus', and in the 15th century represented a boyar council.[11] It was also used by Dnieper Cossacks in the 17th and 18th centuries for the meetings where major decisions were made and new councils were elected by popular vote.[12]

This name was later used by the Ukrainian Revolutionary government between March 17, 1917 and April 29, 1918 (Central Rada).[13]

Verkhovna, is the feminine form of the adjective "верховний" meaning supreme. It is derived from the Ukrainian word "верх" meaning "top".

Other name used less often is the Parliament of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Парламент України).


Soviet period[edit]

The Rada (in Russian language, it was named Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR[14]) replaced the All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets as the supreme body of state power according to the Constitution of Ukrainian SSR of 1937. The All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets had already been renamed to Supreme Soviet in 1927.[15] The Congress of Soviets was initiated by the Central Executive Committee. The last chairman of the committee was Hryhoriy Petrovsky.

The first elections to the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR took place on June 26, 1938. The first session of the parliament took place in Kiev on July 25 through 28, 1938. The first Chairman of the Rada was elected Mykhailo Burmystenko who later perished during World War II. There also was created a presidium of the Rada that was headed by Leonid Korniyets (July 27, 1938).

During the war the presidium was evacuated to the city of Saratov. On June 29, 1943 the presidium issued the order to postpone the elections to the new convocation for a year while extending the obligations of the first elected convocation. On January 8, 1944 the Cabinet Ministers of Ukrainian SSR in agreement with the Communist Party decided to relocate the presidium of Verkhovna Rada from Kharkiv back to Kiev. The new elections were scheduled on February 9, 1947.

Post-Soviet period[edit]

After Ukrainian independence Russian name of the parliament was changed from Supreme Soviet to its current name.[16]

The first real election to select deputies to the Verkhovna Rada was held March 1990.[17] Although the Communist Party still remained in control, a "Democratic Bloc" was formed by numerous parties, including People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh), Helsinki Watch Committee of Ukraine, Party of Greens of Ukraine, and many others.[17]

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 6 p.m. local time.[18] At the time, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada was Leonid Kravchuk. The Act of Ukrainian Independence was overwhelmingly supported in a national referendum held on December 1, 1991. On September 12, 1991 the parliament adopted the law "On Legal Succession of Ukraine".[19]

The Constitution of Ukraine[20] was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of the thirteenth convocation on June 28, 1996, at approximately 9 a.m. local time. The parliament's fourteenth convocation officially changed the numbering of the convocations proclaiming itself the Verkhovna Rada of the third convocation. After the Orange Revolution, a set of amendments were adopted to the constitution on December 8, 2004,[21] by the Verkhovna Rada of the fourth (fifteenth) convocation. On October 1, 2010 the Constitutional Court of Ukraine overturned the 2004 Constitutional Amendments, considering them unconstitutional.[22][23]

Yulia Tymoshenko, is appointed Prime Minister of Ukraine in the Rada on February 4, 2005.

In January 2009 the Verkhovna Rada deputies trimmed their financing by 118 million hryvnias, compared with the year 2008 (amid statements of lawmakers about the necessity triming the expendure of government to fight the current economic crises of Ukraine). At first the parliament trimmed on details but later, under the pressure of government, lawmakers also trimmed their salaries. However mid-June Ukrainian newspaper DELO reviled that during a voting on the law on changes in the state budget-2009 (which proposed to finance providing those ill with diabetes with insulin at the expense of the increased excise duty on beer) Verkhovna Rada deputies introduced an amendment into the law and increased the Verkhovna Rada’s budget by 97 million hryvnias this way[24] (as made public by Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc faction member Oleh Liashko).[25][26] President Viktor Yuschenko vetoed the law on June 18, 2009. The president stated that the 100 million hryvnias from the excise should be given to the health care sector instead of the parliament's own expenditures.[25]

The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc faction intended to initiate the abolishment of parliamentary immunity in September 2009 without result.[27]

Fights and incidents[edit]

Brawls are not unusual in the Ukrainian parliament.[28][29] On several occasions work in parliament is blocked by sit-ins by various parties (usually for a couple of days; but in 2008 from 18 January till 6 March[30] and in February 2013 for 17 days[31]).[29][32] In 2000 and on 4 April 2013 the parliament split into two and held two sessions on two different premises.[33]

A microphone throwing championship among MPs, organized by the Kyiv independent media trade union, was held outside the building of the Verkhovna Rada on Friday, September 11, 2009 in response to an incident on September 1, 2009 when a Communist MP snatched a microphone from a STB reporter and threw it downstairs. Several MPs participated.[34]

On May 13, 2010 Lytvyn asked lawmakers to work in the session hall and not to read newspapers there.[35]

A noticeable incident was the disorder of April 27, 2010, after the parliament ratified the treaty that extended Russia’s Black Sea Fleet lease in the Crimean port of Sevastopol until 2042, when parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn had to be shielded by umbrellas as he was pelted with eggs, while smoke bombs exploded and politicians brawled.[36][37] Another major incident occurred on December 16, 2010 when several Rada members were admitted to the hospital after Party of Regions politicians stormed the parliament podium, which was occupied by the Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko faction.[29][38][39]

On December 12, 2012, an all-out scuffle broke out in Parliament, as Batkivshchyna party members attempted to prevent the swearing in of two members who had left the party.[40] (This was the Parliament's first session following the October 2012 election.)[40] The same day members of the All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda" removed the fence around the Verkhovna Rada[41] that was installed early October 2012.[42][43] The speaker of the parliament Volodymyr Rybak promised to review the incident of the fence removal.[44] The fence is not accounted as the property of parliament nor the city of Kiev. Rybak noted that the matter might require a review within a special designated committee.

Since the parliamentary election of 28 October 2012, parliamentary work has virtually been paralyzed the first months of 2013 because the opposition (UDAR, Fatherland, Svoboda, others) blocked the podium (tribune) and presidium seats on various days.[45]


The Verkhovna Rada meets in a neo-classical building on Kiev's vulytsia Mykhaila Hrushevskoho (Hrushevsky Street) and Ploshcha Konstytutsii (Constitution Square). The building adjoins a picturesque park and the 18th century Mariyinsky Palace, designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, which serves as the official residence of the President of Ukraine.

After the transfer of the capital of the Ukrainian SSR from Kharkiv to Kiev in 1934, a whole set of government buildings was planned for the city.[46] In 1936, a contest for the construction of the new parliament building was won by architect Volodymyr Zabolotny.

Construction for the original building was done from 1936-38. Having been destroyed in the Second World War, the building was reconstructed in its original style in 1945-1947, with the glass dome being rebuilt one metre higher than the original one.[46]

Other locations[edit]

Mission and authority[edit]

Lesser Coat of Arms of Ukraine.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

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 of Ukraine, adopts laws, approves the state budget, designates elections of the President of Ukraine, impeaches the president, declares war and peace, appoints 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.[47]

All procedural regulations are declared in the Law of Ukraine on Regulations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine.[48] The latest version of the document was readopted on December 16, 2012, in which on the initiative of the President of Ukraine were made amendments concerning registration and voting of parliamentarians.[49] The 2012 became a year of numerous changes in regards to the document, among which were changes to election of a chairman and others. Bills are usually considered following the procedure of three readings; the President of Ukraine must sign a law before it can be officially promulgated.[50]

Voting incidents[edit]

Voting for other deputies is prohibited by law.[51] Despite this deputies have stated they could not/did take part in votes although their votes were registered in parliament[51][52] and the phenomenon did became notorious in Ukraine (sometimes referred to as "piano voting").[53] In April 2011 a vote of a deputy was registered although the man had died four days before the voting.[54][55] A bill on introducing voting of lawmakers with help of a touch-sensitive key was not passed in mid-March 2011.[56] Since 22 February 2013 procedural measures have been implemented to prevent deputies voting for absent deputies.[57] Following up on measures taken in December 2012.[58]


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


The presidium of Verkhovna Rada was elected at the very first sessions of each convocation. Originally it consisted of a chairman, couple of the chairman's deputies, a secretary, and 19 other members. Later composition of the presidium changed. The presidium was regulated by the Statute 106 of the Constitution of Ukraine (1978). Since independence such institution was discontinued, but the term is used for the leadership of parliament that includes chairman and his (hers) deputies and may include faction leaders.

Parliamentary factions, groups, and parties[edit]

Seating of parliamentary factions in the current composition of parliament

Only 15 or more deputies can form a parliamentary faction, a lawmaker can join only one faction (the chairman and his two assistants cannot head factions of deputies).[23][59] Deputies who are expelled from factions or decide to leave them become individual lawmakers; individual deputies are allowed to unite into parliamentary groups of people's deputies then again at least 15 deputies are required for the formation of such groups.[23][59] Several influential parties have been founded after they had already founded a faction in the Verkhovna Rada, examples of this are the Party of Regions, All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" and Labour Ukraine.[60][61][62][63]

Each parliamentary faction or group is headed by its leader. Parliamentarians may become unaffiliated from the initially elected faction and realigned under a different parliamentary group or defecting into another faction. Recently there has established a term for such lawmakers - "tushky" which is a sort of derogatory word meaning "carcass".[64][65] The term is applied to deputies allegedly bribed to switch faction.[64]

Since the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election women made up 10 percent of the parliament;[66] in 2010 women made up 8.5 percent of the parliament compared to an average of 30 percent in Europe.[67] Several millionaires are member of Rada factions.[68][69][70][71][72][73][73][74][75][76][77]

14 Rada lawmakers missed all 51 parliament sessions in 2010.[76]

Current factions[edit]

On 12 December 2012 five factions where formed (at the opening session of the new parliament formed after the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election).[78]

(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total Vacant
Party of Regions Batkivshchyna UDAR Svoboda Communists Economic Development Sovereign European Ukraine For Peace and Stability Non-affiliated
End of previous convocation[79][80] 195 97 DNP DNP 25 DNP DNP DNP 31 348 102
Begin[81] 185 101 40 37 32 - - - 43 438 12
December 12, 2012[79] 208 99 42 36 32 - - - 27 444 6
June 11, 2013[79] 207 93 42 36 32 - - - 34 444 6
December 31, 2013[79] 204 90 42 36 32 - - - 38 442 8
February 21, 2014[82] 177 90 42 36 32 - - - 55 442 8
February 22, 2014[79][83] 134 88 42 36 32 - - - 115 447 3
February 23, 2014[79] 131 88 42 36 32 - - - 118 447 3
February 24, 2014[79] 128 88 42 36 32 - - - 123 449 1
February 25, 2014[79] 127 88 42 36 32 33 - - 91 449 1
February 27, 2014[79] 122 88 42 36 32 32 37 - 60 449 1
February 28, 2014[79] 122 88 42 36 32 36 36 - 57 449 1
March 4, 2014[79] 119 87 42 33 32 36 36 - 60 445 5
March 15, 2014[79] 120 88 42 35 32 37 36 - 58 448 2
March 18, 2014[79] 120 82 41 33 32 37 36 - 58 439 11
March 25, 2014[79] 120 88 41 35 32 37 36 - 58 447 3
April 8, 2014[79] 109 88 41 34 33 38 36 - 68 446 4
April 10, 2014[79] 108 88 41 35 33 38 36 - 70 449 1
April 11, 2014[79] 106 88 42 35 33 37 36 - 71 448 2
April 20, 2014[79] 104 88 41 35 33 37 36 - 72 446 4
May 16, 2014[79] 103 88 41 35 33 39 35 - 73 447 3
May 29, 2014[79] 103 87 41 35 31 40 35 - 74 446 4
June 6, 2014[79] 80 85 40 35 32 40 35 - 95 442 8
July 1, 2014[79] 80 86 41 35 24 40 35 - 104 445 5
July 2, 2014[79] 80 86 41 35 24 40 35 32 73 445 5
July 4, 2014[79] 78 86 41 35 23 40 35 34 73 445 5
July 24, 2014[79] 78 86 41 35 - 41 35 34 95 445 5
July 25, 2014[79] 78 86 41 35 - 41 35 36 93 445 5
Latest voting share 17.5% 19.3% 9.2% 7.9% 0.0% 9.2% 7.9% 8.1% 20.9%
Note: The parties United Centre (3 seats), People's Party (2 seats), Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko (1 seat) and Union (1 seat) did not form their own faction. Their deputies did not join any faction besides 1 deputy of People's Party who became a member of the Party of Regions faction in December 2012[79] and Union's deputy joined the then newly created faction For Peace and Stability on 2 July 2014.[84][85]

The Communist Party of Ukraine faction was dissolved 24 July 2014 two days after parliament had changed its regulations.[86]

Parliamentary majority and Majority's opposition[edit]

  • The first parliamentary majority was composed out the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine known as the "Group 239". On July 16, 1990 the parliament adopted the Declaration about the State sovereignty of Ukraine. Out of 385 attending deputies for the declaration voted 355 with only 4 votes against it, 26 other deputies did not take part in voting.
  • On December 22, 1998 the parliamentary majority of the 3rd convocation was created in Verkhovna Rada. It consisted of following factions: "Fatherland", Group "Revival of regions", "Community", Party of Greens of Ukraine, People-Democratic Party, People's Movement of Ukraine, People's Movement of Ukraine (first), Group "Independents", Party "Reforms and Order" - "Reforms-Congress", Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine (united), Labor Party of Ukraine, and non-affiliated deputies.
  • On September 27, 2002 the parliamentary majority of the 4th convocation was created in Verkhovna Rada. It consisted of following factions: "Agrarians of Ukraine", People-Democratic Party, parties of Industrialist and Entrepreneurs and "Toiling Ukraine", "Regions of Ukraine", Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine (united), Group "Democratic Initiatives", Group "European Choice", Group "People's Choice", Group "People's Authority".[87]
    • On November 21, 2002 the parliament approved candidacy of Viktor Yanukovych who picked a government.
    • Following the Orange Revolution and amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, on February 4, 2005 the parliament reformed government by entrusting Yulia Tymoshenko when there appeared new majority consisting of such factions as BYuT, Our Ukriane, Socialist Party of Ukraine, and Socialist Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) as well as deputy groups of For United Ukraine: Party of Regions and Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. The members of Communist Party of Ukraine demonstratively walked out of the session hall.
    • On September 22, 2005 the parliament managed to create new majority with Our Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine and Party of Regions to replace government of Tymoshenko with the Yekhanurov Government that received a vote of no confidence in January next year.
  • During convocation of the parliament between March 26, 2006 and April 2, 2007, there was one government. During spring and summer of 2006 parliament went through hardship in creating majority to establish new government.
    • Initially, on June 22, 2006 the parliamentary majority of the 5th convocation was created in Verkhovna Rada as the Coalition of Democratic Forces. It consisted of following factions: "Our Ukraine", Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, Socialist Party of Ukraine. On July 7, 2006 the parliamentary majority of the 5th convocation was reformed in Verkhovna Rada as the Anti-Crisis Coalition. It consisted of following factions: Party of Regions, Communist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, and few deputies from "Our Ukraine" and Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko. That majority created the Alliance of National Unity (second government of Yanukovych).


According to the "Law of Ukraine about elections of national deputies of Ukraine",[88] a citizen of Ukraine may become a national deputy if he or she has, on the day of elections, a) reached 21 years of age; b) the right to vote; c) resided in Ukraine for the last five years.

Verkhovna Rada deputies have the right to free transportation, free use of the hall of official delegations, free housing, free medical services and free vacations at health spas.[89][90] Each deputy is allowed to have up to 31 assistants-consultants four out of them are allowed to be admitted into the Secretariat of Verkhovna Rada.[91] The Ukrainian President, Prime Minister, members of the government and the Verkhovna Rada deputies also have parliamentary immunity[92](law enforcement also cannot search their homes or follow them.[93]). During the Orange Revolution[93] and the campaign for the 2007 parliamentary election Party of Regions, OU-PSD and BYuT all promised to strip lawmakers of their parliamentary immunity.[92] June 2008 the parliament failed to adopt the bill on restriction of privileges for deputies and introduction of imperative mandate. 192 people's deputies voted "for" the bill submitted by the BYuT faction out of 436 deputies registered in the session hall. The factions of the opposition Party of Regions, as well as the CPU and the Lytvyn Bloc voted against, the OU-PSD faction voted partially "for" and the BYUT faction voted (fully) "for". A proposal to send the bill for the first reading for the second time did also not find support.[89] In May 2009 the second Tymoshenko Government approved a bill amending the law on the status of a people's deputies of Ukraine, this bill reduces certain privileges for incumbent deputies and former deputies.[94] The parliament canceled some benefits and payments to lawmakers in December 2011.[95]

The deputies possess full personal legal immunity during the term of office.[96] In cases of egregious malfeasance, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine or the Head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine can request that a deputy's immunity be revoked; the decision whether to revoke is up to the Verkhovna Rada. Deputies can also tend in there resignation themselves.[97][98]

As of March 25, 2010 no deputy's immunity or their privileges were revoked.[99][100] Individual deputies can be stripped of their immunity if a bill to strip their rights is passed by the Verkhovna Rada.[93]

When the work of the parliament is blocked during plenary meetings wages are not credited to deputies.[101]

Oath of office[edit]

Before assuming office, the Verkhovna Rada's deputies must take the following oath before the parliament:

In original Ukrainian:

In English translation:

Speakers and vice-speakers[edit]

Current speaker of the Rada, Oleksandr Turchynov.

The parliament elects from among its ranks the Chairman (Speaker; Ukrainian: Голова Верховної Ради), the First Deputy Chairman, and the Deputy Chairman.[104]

Before the Chairman of a newly convoked Rada is elected, parliamentary sessions are presided over by members of a temporary presidium of the first session (Ukrainian: тимчасова президія першої сесії). The temporary presidium is composed of five deputies, representing the four largest parliamentary fractions plus the chairman of a preparatory deputy group of the first parliamentary session, however the Rada may enact an ad hoc deviation from this composition rule.

The Chairman presides over parliamentary sessions, signs bills and sends them to the President for promulgation, signs and promulgates parliamentary acts (other than bills), organises staff work, etc.[105] The chairman is also allowed to call special sessions of parliament,[106] enact bills vetoed by the president only when the Verkhovna Rada votes to overcome the veto by a two-thirds majority, and participate in meetings of the National Security and Defence Council.[107]

In case the post of the President of Ukraine becomes vacant, the Chairman of the Rada becomes acting head of state with limited authority.[108] The chairman of the parliament as the acting president could dissolve the parliament, appoint or submit for parliamentary approval candidates for many key official posts, grant military ranks or state orders, or exercise the right of pardon.[108] The Constitution and Ukrainian legislation contained no provisions for presidential succession in case the posts of President and Chairman of the Rada were both vacant.

Secretariat of Verkhovna Rada[edit]

Office of Ombudsman[edit]

The Office of Ombudsman at the Verkhovna Rada was established in 1998 since then was headed by Nina Karpachova. The office has its own secretariat and advising council.


Verkhovna Rada has many parliamentary committees composed of various deputies.[109] On 25 December 2012 the current parliament formed 29 committees and an ad hoc supervisory board.[109] The sixth session of the council (2007–2012) had 28 committees among the most popular were the Budget Committee, the Special Control Commission of Verkhovna Rada in Privatization, and the Committee in Transportation and Communications. There are no permanent or standing committees, but most of committees are being reformed from one convocation to another. One of the most important is the Verkhovna Rada committee on Budget.

Investigative commissions[edit]

Members of the Verkhovna Rada are allowed to created temporary investigative commissions. To create such a commission it is necessary only one third of the constitutional composition of parliament, 150 members. Before, however, the draft on creation of such commission could be placed for voting, it has to be approved by its relevant committee which is the Committee on the Regulation, deputy ethics, and ensuring the work of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Mass media[edit]

International membership[edit]

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe[edit]

Ukraine was accepted as a full member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in 1995.

It is represented there by the parliamentary delegation of Verkhovna Rada consisting of 12 representatives including the chairperson of delegation and the vice-chairperson and their 12 substitutes; in total, 24 members. Ukrainian delegation also has its own permanent secretariat of four members that assist in the inter-parliamentary relationships between PACE and Verkhovna Rada. For the full list of members, refer to the PACE main website at

Current composition[edit]

Party/faction SOC EPP EDG ALDE UEL None Total
PR 0/2 2/2 1/0 3/4
Batkivshchyna 3/3 3/3
UDAR 1/1 1/1
CPU 1/1 1/1
Svoboda 1/1 1/1
Independent 1/0 1/0 1/0 0/1 3/1
SEU (faction) 0/1 0/1
Total 1/2 4/4 3/3 1/0 2/1 1/2 12/12


Political developments in Ukraine have caused repeated 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).

In the 1990 and 1994 elections, all 450 MPs were elected by majority voting. At the time, Ukraine was divided in 450 electoral districts. Each district sent 1 MP to parliament. In order to win the election, a candidate needed more than 50% of the votes. If no candidate had 50%, then the two candidates with the most votes ran in a second round.

In the 1998 and 2002 elections,[8] 225 MPs were elected by majority voting as earlier (with the exception, that the candidate needed only a simple majority to win). Another 225 MPs were elected on a proportional basis. These seats were divided between the parties who obtained 4% or greater support in the general election.

In the 2006 election and 2007 elections, all deputies were elected on a proportional basis. All seats were divided between the parties that obtained 3% or more support of voters. For the 2007 election, the threshold percentage was not changed, but some amendments to the election process were made. In the last election that took place on 28 October 2012.[9] a mixed voting system was again used (50% under party lists and 50% under simple-majority constituencies)[6] with a 5% election threshold.[7]

2012 elections[edit]

The Central Election Commission of Ukraine finalized the vote count on 12 November 2012 but simultaneously ordered - on recommendation of the Verkhovna Rada - repeat elections (on a yet unknown date) in five troubled single-mandate constituencies where it could not establish results.[110] Because of occurrences in these five constituencies.[111][112][113] Hence, on 12 November 2012 445 deputies had been elected of the 450 seats in parliament.[110][114] On 8 February 2013 the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine deprived 2 more deputies of power.[115] They were banned from parliament on 3 July 2013.[115] On 5 September 2013 the Verkhovna Rada itself set the date of all 7 re-elections to 15 December 2013.[116]

Nation-wide list[edit]

e • d Summary of the 28 October 2012 Verkhovna Rada election results (preliminary result with 100.00% of the ballots counted)
Parties List votes % Swing % Seats (proportional representation) Seats (constituencies) Seats (total) Seats (% of total) Change


Party of Regions 6,116,815 30.00 Decrease 4.37 72 113 185 41.56 Increase 10
All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" (incl. United Opposition)1 5,208,390 25.55 Decrease 5.16 62 39 101 22.67 Decrease 55
UDAR (Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform) of Vitaliy Klychko2 2,847,878 13.97 N/A 34 6 40 8.89 Increase 40
Communist Party of Ukraine 2,687,246 13.18 Increase 7.79 32 32 7.11 Increase 5
All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda" 2,129,246 10.45 Increase 9.69 25 12 37 8.44 Increase 37
Ukraine – Forward! of Natalia Korolevska1 322,202 1.58 N/A New Party
Our Ukraine3 226,482 1.11 Decrease 13.04 Decrease 72
Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko 221,136 1.08 N/A 1 1 0.22 New party
Party of Pensioners of Ukraine4 114,198 0.56 Increase 0.42 Steady 0
Socialist Party of Ukraine 93,081 0.46 Decrease 2.40 Steady 0
Party of Greens of Ukraine 70,316 0.35 Decrease 0.05 Steady 0
Ukrainian Party "Green Planet"10 70,117 0.35 N/A Steady 0
Russian Bloc11 63,530 0.31 N/A Steady 0
Greens 51,386 0.25 N/A New party
Ukraine of the Future 38,544 0.19 N/A New party
Political Association "Native Fatherland" 32,724 0.16 N/A New party
People's Labor Union of Ukraine 22,854 0.11 N/A New party
New Politics 21,033 0.10 N/A First election
All-Ukrainian Association "Community"5 17,678 0.08 N/A Steady 0
UNA-UNSO6 16,937 0.08 N/A Steady 0
Liberal Party of Ukraine7 15,566 0.07 N/A Steady 0
United Centre8 DNP11 DNP N/A 3 3 0.67 New party
People's Party9 DNP11 DNP N/A 2 2 0.44 Decrease 18
Union10 DNP11 DNP N/A 1 1 0.22 Increase 1
Independents (elected in electoral districts (see below)) DNP11 DNP N/A 43 43 9.78 Increase 43
Invalid ballot papers 409,068 1.97 Increase 0.35
Total (turnout 57.99%) 20,759,472 100% Decrease 4.03 225 220 445 98.89 Decrease 5
Sources: (Proportional votes, Constituency seats) Central Electoral Commission (in Ukrainian) & ((% of total seats) Ukrayinska Pravda


  • 1Participated as part of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc in 2007 (Swing % and Seat Change are based on the best performed party)
  • 2Transformed in 2010 from another party, the Political Party "European Capital", and that party did not participate in 2007
  • 3Participated as part of the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc in 2007 (Swing % and Seat Change are based on the best performed party)
  • 4Participated as part of the Bloc of the Party of Pensioners of Ukraine in 2007
  • 5"Missed" registration in 2007
  • 6Suspension in 2007
  • 7Boycotted in 2007
  • 8Transformed in 2008 from another party, the Party of Private Property, and that party did not participate in 2007
  • 9Participated as part of the Lytvyn Bloc in 2007
  • 10Participated as part of the KUCHMA Bloc in 2007
  • 11DNP - Did not participate in party voting

Electoral districts[edit]

Next to the 87 political parties[117] 1150 independent candidates took part in the 225 electoral districts.[118]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parliament's first vice speaker Kaletnik resigns, Interfax-Ukraine (22 February 2014)
  2. ^ a b Koshulynsky elected vice-speaker, Ukraine Business Online (13 December 2010)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Fractions of the Supreme Council of Ukraine
  4. ^ Поіменне голосування про проект Закону про внесення змін до Кримінального та Кримінального процесуального кодексів України щодо імплементації до національного законодавства положень статті 19 Конвенції ООН проти корупції (№2023) (21 February 2014)
  5. ^ started with capitalized letter. Don't confuse with the TRK "Rada" (Ukrainian: ТРК "Рада")- the official TV channel and production studio of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
  6. ^ a b (Ukrainian) ВР ухвалила закон про вибори народних депутатів, Interfax Ukraine (17 November 2011)
  7. ^ a b Parliament passes law on parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (17 November 2011)
  8. ^ a b Ukrainian communists to seek return to proportional electoral system, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2012)
  9. ^ a b Parliament mulls Feb. 3 vote to amend Constitution, Kyiv Post (January 31, 2011)
    Parliament sets parliamentary elections for October 2012, presidential elections for March 2015, Kyiv Post (February 1, 2011)
    Ukraine sets parliamentary vote for October 2012, Kyiv Post (February 1, 2011)
    Early parliamentary elections may take place in May - Ukraine's Yanukovych, RIA Novosti (January 25, 2010)
  10. ^
  11. ^ Another name for this "council" is a strict group of angry Ukrainian officials. Further more, this originated in the 21st century coming from the Greek word "Oikos." Padokh, Y. "Boyar Council". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  12. ^ "General Military Council". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  13. ^ Zhukovsky, A. "Central Rada". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  14. ^ History of Ukraine - The Land and Its Peoples by Paul Robert Magocsi, University of Toronto Press, 2010, ISBN 1442640855
  15. ^ Serhy Yekelchyk '"Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation, Oxford University Press (2007), ISBN 978-0-19-530546-3, page 89
  16. ^ Ukraine. Verkhovna Rada, Library of Congress
  17. ^ a b Subtelny, Orest (2000). Ukraine: A History. University of Toronto Press. pp. s. 576–577. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0. 
  18. ^ "Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Resolution On Declaration of Independence of Ukraine". Official website of the Verkhovna Rada. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  19. ^ Law of Ukraine "On Legal Succession of Ukraine"
  20. ^ "Constitution of Ukraine". Official website of the Verkhovna Rada. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  21. ^ Laws of Ukraine. Verkhovna Rada decree No. 2222-IV: About the amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine. Passed on 2004-12-08. (Ukrainian)
  22. ^ Update: Return to 1996 Constitution strengthens president, raises legal questions, Kyiv Post (October 1, 2010)
  23. ^ a b c Rada Approves Cancellation Of Rule That Bans Deputies From Switching Factions, FINANCIAL (October 8, 2010)
  24. ^ Parliament secretly increased its financing by 100 millions, UNIAN (June 15, 2009)
  25. ^ a b Yuschenko Vetoes Increased Excise On Beer, Ukrainian News Agency (June 18, 2009)
  26. ^ Yushchenko to veto increased excise on beer, Kyiv Post (June 16, 2009)
  27. ^ Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc To Initiate Withdrawal Of Deputy Immunity In September, Ukrainian News Agency (August 21, 2009)
  28. ^ Verkhovna Rada fight, UNIAN photo-service
    Keywords: fight, UNIAN photo-service
    Ukraine coalition born in chaos, BBC News (July 11, 2006)
    (Ukrainian) Рейтинг бійок у Верховній Раді [репортаж, відео], 5 Kanal (December 20, 2010)
    Lyashko fought with Martynyuk in VRU (video), UNIAN (May 19, 2011)
  29. ^ a b c MPs hurt in parliament brawl, BBC News (December 17, 2010)
  30. ^ (Ukrainian) Рекорд з блокування Ради становить 29 днів The record for blocking the Rada is 29 days, The Ukrainian Week (19 February 2013)
  31. ^ (Ukrainian) Interview of Rybak by the parliamentary television (РИБАК СКАЗАВ, ЩО РАДА ЗАПРАЦЮЄ 19 ЛЮТОГО). Ukrayinska Pravda. 2013-2-6
    Klitschko: Opposition won't unblock parliamentary rostrum until its demands are satisfied, Kyiv Post (6 February 2013)
    UDAR MPs spend night at parliament, still blocking presidium and rostrum, Kyiv Post (6 February 2013)
    Oppositionists block work of parliament, demand individual voting, Kyiv Post (5 February 2013)
    Parliament unblocked after Yanukovych televised claim (UPDATED), Kyiv Post (22 February 2013)
  32. ^ "BYuT faction blocks parliament’s presidium and rostrum". UNIAN. 22 October 2008. 
    "Rada Closes meeting". Ukrainian News Agency. 22 October 2008. 
    "BYT Unblocks Rada". Ukrainian News Agency. 24 October 2008. 
    "Sit-in disrupts Ukraine assembly". BBC News. June 29, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-26. 
    ELECTION OF NEW PRIME MINISTER AND GOVERNMENT, European Country of Origin Information Network (August 2006)
    Regions Party deputies block parliament's rostrum and presidium, Kyiv Post (9 December 2011)
    Ukrainian lawmakers fail to hold parliament meeting on Feb. 24, Kyiv Post (24 February 2012)
    Batkivschyna again blocks parliament’s work, Interfax-Ukraine (5 March 2013)
  33. ^ Ukraine parliament moves building amid opposition blockade, GlobalPost (4 April 2013)
  34. ^ Microphone throwing championship for MPs held near Ukrainian parliament, Interfax-Ukraine (September 11, 2009)
  35. ^ Lytvyn asks lawmakers not to read newspapers during plenary sessions, UNIAN (May 13, 2010)
  36. ^ Parliamentary chaos as Ukraine ratifies fleet deal. Page last updated at 08:46 GMT, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 09:46 UK. BBC World
  37. ^ Protests in Kiev as Ukraine parliament approves Russia fleet treaty. The Hindu. KIEV, April 27, 2010.
  38. ^ Fierce fight in Ukraine parliament injures 6, Associated Press (December 17, 2010)
  39. ^ Ukraine opposition mourns democracy after MP brawl, Kyiv Post (December 18, 2010)
  40. ^ a b "Fear and loathing in Ukraine’s new parliament", Kyiv Post (12 December 2012)
    Video of the December 2012 brawl in Parliament, Le Monde
    New Ukraine parliament packs punches -- literally -- in first session, CNN (13 December 2012)
  41. ^ Svoboda sawed the fence around Verkhovna Rada down. Ukrayinska Pravda. 2012-12-12
  42. ^ Svoboda: The rise of Ukraine's ultra-nationalists, BBC News (26 December 2012)
  43. ^ The fence around the Council reinforce with concrete. Ukrayinska Pravda. 2011-11-12
  44. ^ Rybak is promising to solve the issue of a fence. Ukrayinska Pravda. 2012-1214
  45. ^ Ukraine parliament session seized by ruling party, Arizona Daily Sun (4 April 2013)
    Study: MPs off for 53 days in first hundred days of current parliament, Interfax-Ukraine (22 March 2013)
    Opposition stops blocking parliament, plenary sitting begins, Interfax-Ukraine (19 March 2013)
    Opposition blocks speaker's rostrum, puts forward three demands, Ukrinform (3 April 2013)
    Opposition lawmakers block rostrum and presidium of VRU, UNIAN (3 April 2013)
  46. ^ a b Mefford, Svitlana. "The Building of Verkhovna Rada. History of the sitting place of Ukrainian Parliament". The Ukrainian Observer. Retrieved 2007-10-12. [dead link]
  47. ^ "Article 85". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  48. ^ (Official document) Law of Ukraine on Regulations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine
  49. ^ (Official document) Law of Ukraine on introducing changes to Regulations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine
  50. ^ The interns of the Program of Internship at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and Central Executive Bodies for 2012-2013 learned the procedure of submission and passage of bills in the Verkhovna Rada, Verkhovna Rada (14 December 2012)
    Ukraine: Energy Policy Review 2006, International Energy Agency, 24 October 2006, ISBN 9264109919 (page 130)
  51. ^ a b (Ukrainian) Янукович отримав контрольний пакет у парламенті, Ukrayinska Pravda (February 2, 2011)
  52. ^ Tymoshenko faction deputy denies voting to extend parliament term, Kyiv Post (February 2, 2011)
  53. ^ Crooked Lawmaking, The Ukrainian Week (12 March 2011)
    Svoboda faction refuses to recognize Sorkin's appointment as NBU Governor, Kyiv Post (11 January 2012)
    Ukraine re-elects Mykola Azarov as prime minister, Deutsche Welle (13 December 2012)
    UDAR MPs prevent voting by card of deputy absent from Kyiv City Council, Interfax-Ukraine (20 December 2012)
    Ukraine’s Opposition Program Requires Another Revolution by Taras Kuzio, The Jamestown Foundation (29 May 2012)
    Yatsenyuk: Ukrainians elected People’s deputies but not voting cards, ForUm (6 February 2008)
    Understanding Ukrainian Politics: Power, Politics, and Institutional Design by Paul D'Anieri, M.E. Sharpe, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7656-1811-5, page 89
    Opposition proposes introducing criminal liability for 'piano voting', Radio Ukraine (23 June 2012)
  54. ^ ZIK: Dead lawmaker continues to vote in Ukraine parliament, Kyiv Post (April 23, 2011)
  55. ^ (Ukrainian) Лісін Микола Павлович, Official website of the Verkhovna Rada
  56. ^ VR refused to make decision on introduction of personal voting of lawmakers with help of touch-sensitive key, UNIAN (March 17, 2011)
  57. ^ Parliament unblocked after Yanukovych televised claim (UPDATED), Kyiv Post (22 February 2013)
  58. ^ Tiahnybok proposes blocking voting cards of unregistered MPs, Kyiv Post (9 January 2013)
  59. ^ a b Rada amends regulations of its activities, Kyiv Post (October 8, 2010)
  60. ^ Explaining State Capture and State Capture Modes by Oleksiy Omelyanchuk, Central European University, 2001 (page 22)
  61. ^ 2001 Political sketches: too early for summing up, Central European University (January 4, 2002)
  62. ^ State Building in Ukraine: The Ukrainian Parliament, 1990-2003 by Sarah Whitmore, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 978-0-415-33195-1, page 106
  63. ^ Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine's Democratic Breakthrough by Anders Aslund and Michael A. McFaul, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2006, ISBN 978-0-87003-221-9
  64. ^ a b Young people show Yanukovych 'red card', Kyiv Post (27 February 2012)
  65. ^ тушки, Google Translate
  66. ^ Too few women in the Ukrainian parliament, Kyiv Post (14 December 2012)
  67. ^ Topless protesters gain fame in Ukraine, The Washington Post (November 19, 2010)
  68. ^ #50 Richest: Tariel Vasadze, 63, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  69. ^ #40 Richest: Serhiy and Oleksandr Buryak, 44 and 40, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  70. ^ #43 Richest: Oleksandr Feldman, 50, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  71. ^ #26 Richest: Yevhen Sihal, 55, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  72. ^ Kostyantin Valentynovych Zhevago, Bloomberg L.P. (2009)
  73. ^ a b #11 Richest: Andriy Verevsky, 36, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  74. ^ #19 Richest: Mykola Yankovsky, 66, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  75. ^ #24 Richest: Heorhiy Skudar, 68, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  76. ^ a b #5 Richest: Kostyantyn Zhevago, 36, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  77. ^ #29 Richest: Oleksandr Slobodyan, 54, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  78. ^ Five factions, including Communist Party, registered in parliament, Kyiv Post (12 December 2012)
  79. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa (Ukrainian) Депутатські фракції і групи VII скликання Deputy fractions and Groups VII convocation, Verkhovna Rada
  80. ^ (Ukrainian) Пам'ятні моменти Верховної Ради VI скликання Memorable moments of the Verkhovna Rada of VI convocation, RBC Ukraine (28 October 2012)
  81. ^ CEC: Party of Regions gets 185 seats in Ukrainian parliament, Batkivschyna 101, Kyiv Post (12 November 2012)
  82. ^ 28 MPs quit Party of Regions faction in Rada Interfax Ukraine. 21 February 2014. Accessed 22 February 2014
  83. ^ Parliamentarians drop Regions Party faction one by one Interfax Ukraine. 22 February 2014. Accessed 22 February 2014
  84. ^ (Ukrainian) National deputies of Ukraine:Lev Myrymsky, Verkhovna Rada
  85. ^ (Ukrainian) Dynamics in the fraction For Peace and Stability in the VII convocation, Verkhovna Rada
  86. ^ Turchynov dissolves Ukrainian Communist Party faction in parliament, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
  87. ^ Ukrainian MPs form pro-Kuchma majority, BBC News (8 October 2002)
  88. ^ Про вибори народних депутатів України
  89. ^ a b Verkhovna Rada failed to adopt bill on restriction of privileges for deputies and introduction of imperative mandate, National Radio Company of Ukraine (June 18, 2008)
  90. ^ Future generations in debt, Kyiv Post (September 24, 2009)
  91. ^ Declaration of Verkhovna Rada
  92. ^ a b Official Immunity Turns Into Campaign Issue In Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (August 16, 2007 )
  93. ^ a b c Case of fugitive ex-deputy, a murder suspect, heats up immunity debate, Kyiv Post (July 9, 2009)
  94. ^ Government suggests canceling certain privileges for Memebres of the Parliament, Kyiv Post (May 27, 2009)
  95. ^ Lawmakers cancel some benefits, Kyiv Post (26 December 2011)
  96. ^ "Article 80". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  97. ^ The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed Several Resolutions on Early Termination of Authorities of the People's Deputies of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada official website (February 4, 2011)
  98. ^ "Article 81". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  99. ^ Jackpot, Kyiv Post (March 25, 2010)
  100. ^ Tymoshenko says her bloc will soon propose cancellation of deputy immunity, Kyiv Post (August 22, 2009)
  101. ^ Ukrainian MPs not being paid for days parliament was blocked, Kyiv Post (October 4, 2009)
  102. ^ "Стаття 79". Ukrainian Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  103. ^ "Article 79". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  104. ^ Leaders of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Official website of the Verkhovna Rada.
  105. ^ "Article 88". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  106. ^ "Article 83". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  107. ^ "Article 107". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  108. ^ a b "Article 112". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  109. ^ a b Rada approves composition of all committees, Kyiv Post (25 December 2012)
  110. ^ a b Party of Regions gets 185 seats in Ukrainian parliament, Batkivschyna 101 - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2012)
  111. ^ With all party lists ballots counted, Regions Party gets 30%, Batkivschyna 25.54%, UDAR 13.96%, Communists 13.18%, Svoboda 10.44%, Kyiv Post (8 November 2012)
  112. ^ a b c Repeat elections in troubled constituencies unlikely to be held before March 2013, says CEC deputy head, Interfax-Ukraine (7 November 2012)
  113. ^ a b Okhendovsky:CEC could call repeat elections in five districts only after parliament passes law, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2012)
  114. ^ Q&A:Ukrainian parliamentary election, BBC News (23 October 2012)
  115. ^ a b c Baloha, Dombrovsky no longer MPs, Ukrinform (3 July 2013)
  116. ^ Rada schedules reelection in troubled districts for December 15, The Ukrainian Week (5 September 2013)
  117. ^ People First: The latest in the watch on Ukrainian democracy, Kyiv Post (11 September 2012)
  118. ^ (Ukrainian) Candidates, RBC Ukraine
  119. ^ a b 2012 Parliamentary Elections Boundary Delimitation Summary and Analysis, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (May 2012)
  120. ^ Results of the vote count, Kyiv Post (9 November 2012)
  121. ^ a b Court strips MP Ihor Markov of his mandate, Interfax-Ukraine (12 September 2013)
  122. ^ Novinsky wins by-election to Rada in Sevastopol, according to CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 July 2013)

External links[edit]