12:45 27.06.2019

Most Ukrainians don't know contents of Constitution, two thirds want to change it

3 min read
Most Ukrainians don't know contents of Constitution, two thirds want to change it

A small percentage of Ukrainians are familiar with the contents of the Constitution of Ukraine, according to a survey conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation together with the sociological service of the Razumkov Center for the Center for Political and Legal Reforms.

According to the release published on Thursday, almost half of the population (47%) has not read the text of the Constitution and about a third (32%) read only certain sections of it. Only 11% of the population is familiar with all sections. Of those who are acquainted with the contents of the Constitution, half did it in order to know their rights.

Almost half of the respondents (46%) know that, according to the Constitution, the people of Ukraine are the bearers of sovereignty and the source of power in the country, while 34% believe that the president is such a subject, with 8% found it difficult to answer this question.

"The majority of respondents (58%) view the Constitution as a means of securing human rights and freedoms, and at the same time only 17% of respondents believe that it should establish responsibilities for a citizen," organizers of the survey said.

Among the majority of respondents, the conviction remains that the highest state bodies and officials constantly (38%) or often (43%) violate the Constitution. Among the reasons for the violation of the Constitution, most often mentioned was the neglect of laws and the right of officials (59%).

Almost two thirds of respondents (60%) are convinced that violation of the Constitution is unacceptable under any conditions and only 11% admit that the authority can violate the Basic Law if it contributes to faster decisions that will benefit society. At the same time, 18.5% believe officials can violate the Constitution if the goal is to benefit society.

"In relation to violations of the Constitution, Donbas region is highlighted, where 31% of respondents believe violating the Constitution is warranted if doing so benefits the public interest," survey organizers said.

More than two thirds of those polled (67%) said the Constitution needs to be changed, with 35% believing this a topical issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Some 32% are sure that such changes are necessary, but only after the situation has stabilized in the country. Only 12% do not see the need to change the Constitution, while 20% don't have an opinion.

The prevailing view is that an independent body including representatives of various branches of government and independent experts should propose changes to the Constitution. This position was supported by 37% of respondents. Only 18% believe the task should be entrusted to a special agency under the president, with 17% saying a special parliamentary commission should propose the changes. Only 13% said they would entrust the task to scientists and expert organizations of civil society.

If the new Constitution is adopted, the citizens consider the All-Ukrainian referendum as the best way to approve it (41%). Some 24% are ready to entrust this matter to a specially selected body and 19% to parliament.

More than half of citizens (56%) do not trust the Constitutional Court, while 22% of respondents trust the Constitutional Court.

The survey was conducted from June 13 to June 20, 2019 in all regions of Ukraine with the exception of Russia-occupied Crimea and Russia-occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Some 2,017 respondents aged 18 and over were interviewed. The theoretical sampling error does not exceed 2.3%.

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