The 1995 constitutional agreement defined the President as a head of state and chief executive officer. The new Constitution (Part V) detailed the President`s role in the country. According to the Constitution (Art. 102), the President is a head of state and acts on behalf of the state (under the Constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is now the supreme executive authority). The President is the guarantor of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, compliance with the Constitution, human rights and freedoms.
The constitutional principles of the election of the President of Ukraine are set forth in Art. 103 of the Constitution. The President is elected by citizens on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot, for a term of five years. A national of Ukraine who is at least 35 years of age, enjoys a vote, has lived in Ukraine in the past ten years before the election date and speaks the official language, can be elected the President. One and the same person cannot be the President for more than two successive terms. The President of Ukraine cannot have another representative mandate, hold an office in the government or in nongovernment organizations, or do a paid job or business, or be on the management or supervisory board of a company whose object is to make profits.
Presidential elections in Ukraine are held on the last week of October of the fifth year of the President`s tenure. In the event of early termination of the President`s tenure, the election is held within 90 days following the termination.
The President-elect assumes office not later than 30 days following the official announcement of election results, from the date of taking an oath to the people at a ceremonial session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
The President is sworn in by the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
The President takes the following oath:
"I (name and surname) elected by the will of the people as the President of Ukraine, assuming this high office, swear allegiance to Ukraine. I pledge to defend, with all my deeds, the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, take care of the welfare of my Motherland and the well-being of the Ukrainian people, protect citizens` rights and freedoms, abide by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine , discharge my duties in the interest of all fellow countrymen, enhance the prestige of Ukraine in the world".
The President of Ukraine elected in an extraordinary election, takes an oath in five days following the official announcement of election results.
The title of the President of Ukraine is protected by the law and retained for him for life unless the President was impeached.
The President of Ukraine shall:
- ensure national sovereignty, national security and the state`s successіon;
- make appeals to the people and deliver annual and extraordinary state-of the nation addresses to the Verkhovna Rada;
- represent the country in international relations, direct the country`s foreign political activity, hold talks and conclude international treaties of Ukraine;
- make decisions about recognition of foreign states;
- appoint and dismiss heads of diplomatic representatives of Ukraine in other countries and at international organizations; accept letters credential and letters of recall of foreign diplomatic representatives;
- set an All Ukraine referendum regarding changes in the Constitution of Ukraine in compliance with Art. 156 of the Constitution, declare an All Ukraine referendum on the people`s initiative;
- set early elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as provided by the Constitution;
- terminate the authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine unless plenary meetings fail to start within 30 days of one regular session;
- appoint, with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Prime Minister of Ukraine; terminate the authority of the Prime Minister and make a decision about his resignation;
- appoint, on the Prime Minister`s representations, members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, leaders of other central executive authorities, as well as heads of local state administrations and terminate their authority in this capacity;
- appoint, with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and dismiss him from office;
- appoint half of the board members of the National Bank of Ukraine;
- appoint half of the members of the National Council of Ukraine for TV and Broadcasting;
- appoint and dismiss, with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada, the Chairman of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, Chairman of the State Property Fund of Ukraine, Chairman of the State Committee of Ukraine for TV and Broadcasting;
- establish, reorganize and dissolve , on the Prime Minister`s representations, ministries and other central executive agencies, acting within the limits of funds provided for the maintenance of executive authorities;
- revoke acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and acts of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;
- be the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces of Ukraine; appoint and dismiss the higher commanding officers of the Armed Forces, other military formations; administer in the areas of the country`s national security and defense;
- head the National Security Council of Ukraine;
- make representations to the Verkhovna Rada about declaration of a state of war and make decisions about the use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the event of armed aggression against Ukraine;
- make decisions, as prescribed by the law, about general or partial mobilization and imposing martial law in Ukraine or in separate parts thereof given the threat of attack or danger to the independence of Ukraine;
- make decisions, as appropriate, about the declaration of a state of emergency in Ukraine or its parts , as well as declare, as appropriate, parts of Ukraine environmental emergency areas with the subsequent approval of these decisions by the Verkhovna Rada;
- appoint a third of the members of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine;
- establish courts of law as prescribed by the law;
- confer the highest military ranks, the highest diplomatic ranks and other highest special titles;
- confer national decorations; institute presidential awards and confer them;
- make decisions about granting Ukrainian citizenship and providing asylum in Ukraine;
- grant a pardon;
- establish, within the limits of funds provided for in the national budget, consulting, deliberative and other supporting services necessary for performing his duties;
- sign laws passed by the Verkhovna Rada;
- have the right of a veto in relation to laws passed by the Verkhovna Rada with their subsequent resubmission to the Verkhovna Rada for additional consideration;
- perform other duties in compliance with the Constitution.
The President`s activity is supported by a number of consulting, deliberative and auxiliary institutions the major ones being the National Security and Degfense Council and the President`s Administration.
The National Security and Defense Council
According to Art. 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the National Security and Defense Council is a coordination body for matters of national security and defense under the President of Ukraine.
The President is at the head of the Council and personally forms its staff.
The Council`s decisions are put into effect by Presidential decrees.
The Council coordinates and directs the activity of executive agencies in the area of national security and defense.
On the Council are, ex officio, the prime minister, the defense minister, the chief of the security service, the minister of the interior, the minister of foreign affairs. The Council`s activity is regulated by the Law "On the National security and Defense Council" of March 5, 1998 . Under Art. 3 of the Law, the Council`s functions include:
- making proposals to the President of Ukraineв about the implementation of the principles of home and foreign policies in the national security and defense area;
- coordination and monitoring of the activity of executive agencies in the national security and defense area in peacetime;
- coordination and monitoring of the activity of executive agencies in the national security and defense area under martial law or in emergency and during crises which endanger Ukraine`s national security.
The Council`s competence, as provided by the Law, comprises:
- development and review at its meetings of issues of the military doctrine of Ukraine and those of them which come under the concept (the principle of national policy) of national security and defense, and presentation proposals to the President in compliance with the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, regarding:
— identification of Ukraine`s strategic national interests, conceptual approaches to and areas of ensuring the national security and defense in the political, economic, social, military, scientific and technological, environmental, information and other areas;
— drafting national programs, doctrines, laws, Presidential decrees, directives of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, international treaties, other regulatory documents related to national security and defense;
— improvement of the system of national security and defense, establishment, reorganization and dissolution of related executive agencies;
— drafting the budget law where it concerns ensuring national security and defense;
— financial, personnel, managerial and other types of support of measures related to national security and defense;
— political, economic, social, military scientific and technological, environmental, information and other measures according to the scale of potential and real threats to the national interests of Ukraine;
— assignments concerning the study of specific issues and conducting of the appropriate research in the area of national security and defense, to executive agencies and research institutions of Ukraine;
— enlisting the services of supervisory and inspection agencies which function within the executive authority system, to exercise control over timely and proper implementation of decisions passed by the Council and put into effect by Presidential decrees;
— ensuring the timely obtaining and processing the required information, its storage, confidentiality and the use in the interest of Ukraine`s national security, analysis on the basis of this information of the status and trends of developments in Ukraine and abroad, identification of potential and real threats to national interests ;
— issues of declaration of a state of war, partial or general mobilization, declaration of martial law or emergency in Ukraine or its parts, declaration, as appropriate, of some parts of the country environmental emergency areas;
- monitoring the activity of executive agencies in the area of national security and defense and submission of relevant findings and proposals to the President;
- obtaining, for analysis purposes, of information from officials and experts of executive agencies, public institutions, research centers, companies and organizations of all types of ownership ;
- initiating the development of regulations and documents on national security and defense , generalizing the practice of their use and results of follow-ups of their implementation ;
- coordination and supervision of the transfer of central and local authorities, as well as the national economy to operation in war conditions or emergency;
- coordination and supervision of the activity of local authorities , within the competence provided, when declaring martial law or emergency;
-- coordination and supervision of the activity of executive authorities in repelling armed aggression, organizing defense of the population and ensuring its vital functions, life protection, health care, constitutional rights, freedоms and legitimate interests of citizens, maintenance of public order under martial law,r in emergency or in crises threatening Ukraine`s national security.
The organization of the Council`s work and implementation of its decisions is the responsibility of the Secretary. The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council is appointed to and dismissed from office by the President of Ukraine and directly reports to him.
According to Art. 13 of the Law "On the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine," the terms of reference of the Council`s Secretary include:
- development of proposals concerning the long-term and current planning of the Council`s activity;
- submission to the President of draft Presidential decrees on putting into effect of the Council`s decisions, including proposals and recommendations about implementation of the principles of home and foreign policies in the area of national security and defense;
- organization of work related to the preparation and holding of Council meetings and follow-up of decisions;
- providing information about the progress of implementation of the Council`s decisions to the President and the Council`s members;
- coordination of the activity of the Council`s working and consultative bodies ;
- on the instructions of the Council Chairman, representation of the Council`s position in the Verkhovna Rada, in relations with executive agencies and local authorities, political parties, nongovernmental organizations, the mass media and international institutions.
Administration of the President of Ukraine
This presidential structure has existed since Dec. 13, 1991, in accordance with the President`s Order "Issues Related to the Administration of the President of Ukraine". The Constitution does not provide for the President`s Administration as a separate authority which comes under Art. 106 of the Constitution about the President`s right to establish consultative, deliberative and other auxiliary bodies and services within the limits of funds provided for by the national budget. According to a Presidential decree of Feb.19, 1997, "Regulation on the President`s Administration" was adopted. According to this document, the President`s Administration is a permanent body which is established by the President to ensure the performance by him of his responsibilities as a head of state.
The Administration is run by its chief who is appointed and dismissed by the President.
The main objectives of the Administration include managerial, legal, consultative, information, analytical support of the President`s activity.
Carrying out assignments given to this structure, the President`s Administration:
— analyzes the economic, political and social processes in Ukraine, develops proposals to the President based on results of this analysis;
— provides managerial support for the activity of the Council of Regions under the President, other deliberative and consultative bodies established by the President, as well as the President`s permanent representatives;
— develops proposals related to the President`s personnel policies;
— does expert examination of Ukrainian laws;
— organizes the follow-up of implementation of laws, Presidential decrees and orders and their promulgation;
— ensures the systematization regulatory and legal acts of Ukraine;
— ensures the maintenance of contacts between the President and the Verkhovna Rada, institutions of local governing, political parties and other organizations;
— provides financial, logistic and other support of the President`s activity.
On the Administration Chief`s representations, the number of employees, organizational structure and a cost estimate are prepared.
Heads of the units of the Administration are appointed and dismissed by the President of ukraine.
According to the Regulation, the following officials directly report to the President:
- Chief of the President`s Administration;
- First assistant to the President;
- Aids to the President;
- Advisors to the President;
- The President`s permanent representative in the Verkhovna Rada;
- The President`s permanent representative in the Constitutional Court;
- Scientific consultants and consultants of the President;
- Foreign policy department;
- Supervisory department.
According to the Regulation, the Chief of the Administration performs responsibilities to ensure the structure`s activity.
The chief exercises general supervision of the Administration, ensures an interface among all units.
He directly runs the departments of home policy and humanitarian policy.
The Chief of Administration issues orders, within his competence, related to the activity of the Administration.
First assistant to the President coordinates and organizes the work of the team of aids, advisors and consultants, the President`s office, the Press Service, the Protocol Service. He is responsible for managerial matters related to the President`s activity, the key ones being:
— Development of and getting approvals for ongoing and long-term work plans, arrangements for official meetings, visits, talks, functional visits of the President;
— Ensuring the preparation of analytical, information, reference and other material for the President;
— Ensuring the preparation and implementation of assignments given by the President.
First deputy and deputy chiefs of the Administration directly supervise the structural units of the Administration.