For the first 5 years following independence, Ukraine lived under the old, Soviet charter. It took that long to prepare the new one. The current Constitution is considered to be one of the most democratic in the world.
The word Ukraine appears in the Constitution the largest number of times: 451 times but the only public holiday mentioned in the document is Ukraine’s Constitution Day. It is on a copy of the Constitution that the newly elected president of Ukraine places his hand to take the oath of office, while his other hand holds the Peresopnytsia Gospel.
The Constitution document consists of 161 articles sub-divided into different sections. Some sources say that there are fourteen of them, while others say that there are fifteen of. The most interesting thing is that they are both right. The document contains XV (15) chapters but chapter VII (7) “relating to the Prosecutor's Office” was later removed.
Ukraine was the last post-Soviet country to adopt its own Constitution. Why? From 1990 to 1996, 15 drafts of the future document were produced. The authors received input from public groups, scientists, political parties and commissions. Selection of the final version was delayed, because of disputes between the president and people's deputies about the distribution of powers and responsibilities.
The final draft document was presented in the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada only on June 27, 1996. People's deputies agreed that the meeting would continue until all issues had been considered and agreed upon. As a result this meeting that went down in the history of Ukraine as the longest ever session of the Verkhovna Rada. It began in the morning of June 27, and only ended at 9:18 a.m. the next day with 315 "YES" votes.
It is worth noting that 25% of the members of parliament at that time were communists. Therefore, many discussions and disputes arose. Around issues such as the state language, state symbols and the status of Crimea. The communists fundamentally opposed the blue-yellow flag, the declaration of Ukrainian as the only state language, and demanded autonomy for the peninsula.
There have been repeated claims that that the Constitution is an immutable document, but the fact that an entire chapter has been removed disproves that theory. In fact there is a whole chapter in the Constitution that deals with the circumstances when and the mechanism for making changes. In 27 years, this has happened 7 times.
And finally, a favorite fact! The Constitution of the United States of America which was finalized in 1789 is often considered to be the first written Constitution. The “Legal Code and Constitution regarding the Rights and Freedoms of the Zaporizhzhian Army” or, as it is popularly known, the “Constitution of Hetman Pylyp Orlyk” was approved in 1710, and is considered by Ukrainians as one of the first written democratic Constitution in the modern world. By the way, the document has survived to this day thanks to a copy held in Sweden.
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