Bohdan: If we succeed in reaching some kind of agreements with Russia with controversial issues, we should ask people's opinion
Presidential Administration Head Andriy Bohdan has explained his position and proposal to ask citizens of the country what their opinion is on some or other controversial issues in reaching possible agreements on ending the war in Donbas.
"If there are controversial issues in these possible agreements, then it is better to ask the population if it supports [the agreements]. But there are no such agreements today, unfortunately, and a there is a long road ahead," Bohdan said during the Pravo na Vladu talk show aired by the 1+1 television channel.
Bohdan said in reaching some or other agreements there can be no talk about violating the Constitution of Ukraine or giving up territory or abandoning people who live there.
"But it is possible that some kind of compromises about the procedure for movement [between Ukraine and Russia-occupied areas of Ukraine] and voting could be reached. I am a very patriotic person and not a proponent of creating 'independent territories' and non-Ukrainian areas of movement," he said.
According to Bohdan, no one can decide the fate of the entire society without asking the opinion of people first.
"In civilized countries, surveys are conducted on some or the other controversial issues. This is normal, and we are moving towards Europe, but it's not bad to ask your citizens, ordinary Ukrainians, what they like and what they want. This can be done in many ways: sociological surveys and polls, other ways which are proscribed by laws," he said.
Bohdan said he believes that in the history of Ukraine decisions were taken on numerous occasions that split society.
"Our election campaign proved that politicians do not think like people. Politicians are closed in their social circle, and their thoughts reflect only their views, and Ukrainians often think differently," he said.
Bohdan noted that today the there is no law for conducting a referendum, adding that one should be adopted.
As reported, on May 21, Bohdan, said that the Zelensky team was considering the possibility of bringing the issue of concluding agreements with Russia on peace on the war in Donbas to a nationwide referendum.
"We are considering putting the issue of reaching peace agreements with Russia for a popular referendum so that not only [parliament] deputies vote and the president makes a decision, but the people make a decision, and the society gives an assessment," he said then.
The statement sparked a discussion among politicians, experts and citizens in social networks.
On May 23, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said holding a referendum on concluding peace agreements with Russia has no legal force, but is a way to find out the opinion of society.
"We need to hear every person. This is not a legislative referendum, but an informational one: citizens, what do you think? This is a normal conversation with people," Zelensky said during a meeting with public activists in the presidential administration on Thursday.
Participants of the meeting, including volunteers and military veterans, agreed that it would be expedient to use the word "poll" and not "referendum."