Almost one-third of Ukrainians believe that president is power holder

Дата: 29 January 2016
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Half of Ukrainian citizens have not read the Constitution of Ukraine at all, and about one-third have read only certain sections of the Fundamental Law.

This is evidenced by the results of the survey, conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, UNIAN news agency.

About 10% of the population are familiar with all the sections of the Constitution, only half of the respondents know that the people are the power holder and source of power in Ukraine, and 29% believe that the president is. Another 12% have not been able to answer this question.

The vast majority of respondents – 70% – view the Constitution as the means of securing the rights and freedoms of citizens, and only 14% believe that the Constitution should secure the obligations of citizens. Also, 88% of respondents believe that the public authorities and officials violate the Constitution while 52% believe this violation is permanent.

Only 10% of respondents know well the plans of the authorities to amend the Constitution, 47% have heard something about it, and 42% know nothing about it. Only 5% of respondents know the exact wording of the amendments to the Constitution.

67% of respondents believe that the Constitution should be amended: 28% believe that it should be done immediately, 39% think it should be done after the situation in the country is stabilized, and only every tenth does not see the need to change the Fundamental Law.

As for the judicial reform, 80% of the citizens of Ukraine support the need for this reform and only 6% believe that changes in the judicial system must be partial and cautious.

85% of respondents believe that corruption is spread in the Ukrainian courts, and 65% believe that judges are dependent on politicians, 67% believe they are dependent on the oligarchs.

In addition, the survey shows that there is no dominant idea how to reform the judicial system among the citizens: 32% believe that it is necessary to deprive the judges of immunity and privileges, 31% want a full upgrade of the entire judiciary and the release of judges after the investigations (31%).

Also, 29% of respondents think the judges should take a lie detector test.

Regarding the procedure for appointment of judges, the majority of respondents believe that the judges should be appointed by the independent government body composed of judges and members of the public. This opinion is shared by 41% of respondents. Another 36% believe that judges should be elected by the citizens.

At the same time, the appointment of judges by the President, the Verkhovna Rada or the Supreme Court is supported by only 3-4%.

When asked about the activities of the prosecutor’s office, 76% of respondents say they do not trust in this body and 77% believe that the prosecutor’s office does not work effectively. Only 9% has a contrary view.

More than half of respondents – 62% – believe that the Verkhovna Rada should monitor the work of the Prosecutor General. Only 19% support the independence of this official from the Parliament.

The survey was conducted on December 15-25, 2015. 2,040 respondents were interviewed in 110 cities, towns and villages in all regions of Ukraine except Crimea and the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

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