Popular initiative as a means of ensuring the state power legitimacy

Kuian I. A. Popular initiative as a means of ensuring the state power legitimacy

The article is dedicated to the research of the popular initiative institute from the perspective of solving the problem of ensuring the state power legitimacy.

The principle of legitimacy lies in the accordance of the state political power with the values that underpin the corresponding regime and whose activities this principle provides.

The Constitution of Ukraine recognizes the man, his life and health, honour and dignity, personal freedom and security to be the highest social value and fixes inalienability and inviolability of human rights and freedoms. Thus, no-alternative democratic regime is strengthened in the country. Solely democratic regime is able to ensure the realization of human and civil rights and put content to the declaration of the people as the bearer of sovereignty and the only source of power in the state.

According to the author, a diversity of legal means of the people’s sovereignty implementation serves to ensure the legitimacy of the state power in a democratic state. The popular initiative institute is considered a means of measuring the state power legitimacy. Being a form of the people and government cooperation the popular initiative serves as a means of strengthening the state power legitimacy. Contrariwise, the inability to implement the popular initiative or its rejection by the state power threatens the loss of legitimacy of the latter.

Attention is paid to the constitutional and legal institution of the popular initiative in foreign countries.

Attention is drawn to the discussion character of the institute of popular initiative in Ukrainian and foreign scientific literature that first of all manifests in its name, which appears in various sources as popular (legislative, lawmaking, referendum) initiative or civic initiative (lawmaking initiative of citizens). Some researchers interpret it as a form of collective citizen appeals, petitions. According to the author, the discussion character of the institute of popular initiative is determined by its diversity and multifunctionality. This institute has its own objects, form and scope of implementation in different countries of the world.

The article investigates the problems of implementation of the popular initiative concerning All-Ukrainian referendum on amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, the institute of withdrawal (giving a vote of non-confidence), the legislative initiative addressed to the parliament.

Attention is paid to the issues of limiting popular initiative as to the issue of a nationwide referendum on changing the state territory (ratification referendum). It is noted that the state territory may have various reasons, including membership in the other state. This is directly related to the change of the constitutional order, and the Constitution defines the nation as its exclusive subject. Therefore, in terms of the constitutional principle of popular sovereignty, such a restriction of popular initiatives is questionable, but in terms of the state power legitimacy it is quite difficult.

The article emphasizes the problems of the popular initiative implementation concerning amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine. It is proved that the proceedings of initiation of Ukrainian referendum by its citizens require improvement in terms of the specificity of the officials’ authority, terms and especially scientific and expert support of the initiative.

According to the author, the institution may be an effective means of combating corruption in power structures and increasing the state power legitimacy when it is reasonably embodied in Ukrainian legislation.

The author assumes that the introduction of popular legislative initiatives addressed to the parliament is perspective for Ukraine. Because of this institute the people get another lever of influence on the state power in the face of the parliament and an effective means of reconciling the interests of the people and the power and strengthening the legitimacy of the latter.

It proves the necessity of improving the institute of popular initiative and appropriate amendments to Ukrainian constitutional law in force, that, in the author’s point of view, will contribute to the ensuring the state power legitimacy and the state sovereignty strengthening.

Key words: popular initiative, referendum, state power, state power legitimacy, sovereignty.

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