Ukrainian political system: do we need a makeover?

The decentralization progress and the need for change at the national level

Ukrainian political system: do we need a makeover?

Electoral system

  • Party leaders can trade places on party lists – either for money or for loyalty.
  • In single-mandate districts candidates with the most money have the highest chances to win (although the last elections showed that there can be exceptions to this rule).
  • In single-mandate districts many votes are lost, so the winners can actually be minority candidates.

Dualism of executive power

Decentralization

  • Mandatory merge ATCs that did not voluntarily merge before the deadline which has to be defined.
  • Resolve the issue of raions – one needs to decide whether raion level of the government remains. If yes, then its powers and responsibilities have to be redefined, if not – then raions should be liquidated by law [3].
  • To clearly distribute the responsibilities on the local level – i.e. between local branches of the central government and local elected officials.

[1] For a comprehensive discussion of Ukraine’s constitutional design see the article of Myerson, Roland and Mylovanov) and an explainer article by Rostyslav Averchuk.

[2] For an intermediate detailed evaluation of decentralization reform (2014-2016) see Levitas&Djukic (2017), see Dudley (2019) for evaluation of the most recent results.

[3] The former minister of regional development suggested to reduce the number of raions from 465 to 102 leaving them with functions of coordination of local offices of central government bodies.

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