The "President" and State Authorities in Ukraine
Yurii S. Shemshuchenko
Ukraine elected the first president in its history--L. M. Kravchuk--at the end of 1991. Ukrainians linked their hopes for the resolution of economic and political problems and for the strengthening of legal order in the republic to the establishment of the presidency. But the president will hardly be able to improve the situation by himself. Much also depends on other organs of the independent Ukrainian state and on the correct definition of the place and role of the president in the general system of state authorities. This chapter discusses the impact of the separation of powers on the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
In accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, the president is the republic's highest official and chief of the republic's executive branch. His relations with the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet are governed by the constitutional provision that the Supreme Soviet is the highest collegial organ of state power that exercises legislative and control functions and is empowered to decide all questions in republic life without exception. The president and his powers are constitutionally limited to a certain range of issues. The president guarantees the rights and liberties of citizens, Ukraine's state sovereignty, and the observance of the Constitution and the republic's laws. He also represents Ukraine in interstate and international relations. He takes necessary measures to secure the republic's defensive capability, state security, and territorial integrity, and makes decisions both on the declaration of war, on total and partial mobilization on republic territory, and on the introduction of martial law