2000 Ukrainian constitutional referendum

A four-part referendum was held in Ukraine on 16 April 2000.[1] The referendum was called by President Leonid Kuchma,[2] and asked voters whether they approved of four amendments to the constitution that would increase the powers of the President and introduce an upper chamber.[2]

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Although all four were approved by wide margins,[3] the changes were never implemented by the Verkhovna Rada on the basis that the referendum was unconstitutional, as it had not passed the proposals before they went to a referendum.[2] The Venice Commission that reviewed the case confirmed the questionable nature of the referendum that should be reviewed by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.


According to historian Serhy Yekelchyk President Kuchma's administration "employed electoral fraud freely" during the referendum.[4]


Question I

Do you support the proposal to complete Article 90 of the Constitution of Ukraine with a new third part with the following content: "The President of Ukraine can suspend the powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, if the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine fails to form a stable and operational majority in one month, or if it fails to adopt the state budget of Ukraine prepared and submitted in due form by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in three months." That could be considered as an additional reason for the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by the President of Ukraine with a corresponding amendment to paragraph 8 part one of Article 106 of the Constitution of the Ukraine: "and other cases as established in the constitution of Ukraine"?[3]

Choice Votes %
Invalid/blank votes393,669
Registered voters/turnout36,629,92681.1
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Question II

Do you agree with the necessity to limit the immunity of the People's Deputies of Ukraine and to delete paragraph three of Article 80 of the Constitution of Ukraine which reads: "People's Deputies of Ukraine cannot be held criminally liable, detained or arrested without the consent of the Verkhovna Rada"?[3]

Choice Votes %
Invalid/blank votes370,763
Registered voters/turnout36,629,92681.1
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Question III

Would you agree to reduce the number of People's Deputies of Ukraine from 450 to 300 and to replace, in this context, in the first part of Article 76 the words "four hundred and fifty" by "three hundred", and to make corresponding changes in the legislation on elections?[3]

Choice Votes %
Invalid/blank votes366,514
Registered voters/turnout36,629,92681.1
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Question IV

Do you agree that it is necessary to create a two-chamber parliament where one of the chambers would represent interests of the Ukrainian regions, and to introduce the corresponding changes to the Constitution of Ukraine and legislation on elections?[3]

Choice Votes %
Invalid/blank votes416,824
Registered voters/turnout36,629,92681.1
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

See also


  1. Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1976 ISBN 9783832956097
  2. Nohlen & Stöver, p1969
  3. Nohlen & Stöver, pp1985–1986
  4. The Conflict in Ukraine: What Everyone Needs to Know by Serhy Yekelchyk, Oxford University Press, 2015, ISBN 0190237287 (page 87)
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