Ukraine is a developing multi-party democratic republic practicing a semi-presidential system with clear separation of powers between the executive, legislature, and judiciary. However, the politics still indicate centralization due to the USSR legacy and fear of separation. The president is ceremonial as the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (CabMin or Government of Ukraine) owns the highest executive powers. The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) regulates the CabMin which answers to the president. CabMin also consists of the Prime Minister and his/her several deputies forming the cabinet presidium. Parliament approves the president’s appointees to the premier position. The parliament also approves cabinet ministers jointly appointed by the president and prime minister.

Every five years, citizens who are eighteen years and above register to vote for the president, parliaments, and local governments. Since no single party in this democracy is capable of marshaling the numbers to form a government, many parties go to the polls as coalitions. Presidential candidates must have lived in the country for not less than ten consecutive years prior to the elections and a president can only serve for two terms of five years each. However, in 2003, the judiciary allowed then-President Leonid Kuchma to run for a third term in the 2004 presidential election although he dropped this bid. Ukraine’s constitution does not allow foreign financing of campaigns or political parties.

The Mariyinsky Palace is the official residence of the president although there are thirteen other palaces available for his use. This Baroque-style palace sits on the bank of the Dnipro River, next to the building of the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev. Construction took place from 1744 to 1752 following Bartolomeo Rastrelli’s design. The Verkhovna Rada building is in Kiev’s Pecherskyi District at the Constitution Square. Volodymyr Zabolotny designed the neo-classical architectural building whose construction began in 1936 and ended in 1938. Ukrainian Government Building which serves as CabMin’s administrative center stands along Hrushevsky Street in Kiev. This building was built from 1936-1938 using architects Ivan Fomin and Pavel Abrosimov plans.

In Ukraine, singular parties cannot win elections, as elections must be won through coalition governments. Major political parties in Ukraine include Petro Poroshenko Bloc, People's Front, Opposition Bloc, Self Reliance, Radical Party, Fatherland, Revival, and People's Will.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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