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LAW OF UKRAINE

ON POLITICAL PARTIES IN UKRAINE

Chapter I. General Provisions

Article 1.

Citizens' Right to Associate in Political Parties

Citizens' right to freely associate in political parties to exercise and protect their rights and liberties, and to satisfy their political, economic, social, cultural, and other interests is determined and guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine. Restrictions on this right are allowed pursuant to the Constitution of Ukraine ( 254k/96-VR ), in the interests of national security, public order, health care, or so as to protect the rights and freedoms of other peoples, as well as in other cases envisaged by the Constitution of Ukraine.

No-one shall be forced to join a political party or restricted in voluntarily withdrawing from a political party.

Partly affiliation or non-affiliation shall not warrant any restrictions of [civil] rights and liberties or any benefits or privileges on the part of the state.

Any restrictions in terms of political party membership shall be the sole prerogative of the Constitution and [other] laws of Ukraine.

Article 2.

The Notion of a Political Party

A political party shall be understood as a legally registered voluntary association of citizens adhering to a certain national social development programme, aimed at assisting in the formation and expression of citizens' political will, participating in elections and other political events.

Article 3.

Legal Basis and Regulation of the Activities of Political Parties

Political parties shall conduct their activities in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, this Law, and other laws of Ukraine, as well in accordance with their statutes/charters enacted in keeping with the procedures established by this Law.

Political parties shall be formed and shall operate in Ukraine only when having the all-Ukraine [nation-wide] status.

Article 4.

Guarantees of the Activities of Political Parties

Political parties shall be equal before the law.

Bodies of state authority and local self-government and their officials shall be prohibited to discriminate against certain political parties or grant them privileges, and nor shall they assist political parties unless otherwise provided by law.

Bodies of state authority and local self-government and their officials shall be prohibited to interfere in the formation and internal activities of political parties and their local offices, except in cases envisaged by this Law.

Article 5.

Restrictions on the Formation and Operation of Political Parties

The formation and operation of political parties shall be prohibited if their programme objectives or activities are aimed at:

Political parties shall not have paramilitary formations.

A political party shall be banned only if so ruled by a court of law. In the first instance such ban shall be deliberated by the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

Chapter II. Membership and Formation of Political Parties

Article 6.

Membership of Political Parties and Restrictions

Only citizens with a right to vote under the Constitution of Ukraine ( 254k/96-VR ) shall be eligible as members of political parties.

A citizen shall be a member of only one political party at a time.

The following persons shall not be eligible:

Members of political parties shall terminate their membership while occupying any of the above posts/ranks/positions.

The procedures of joining a political party, suspending or terminating membership shall be determined by that party's statute/charter.

Political party membership shall be attested. A compulsory condition of such attested membership shall be a Ukrainian citizen's statement submitted to a given party's statutory body and expressing that citizen's desire to become a member of that party.

The form of attesting [recording] political party membership shall be determined by a given party's statute/charter.

No political party structures shall be formed within the executive, judicial or local self-government authorities, military units, state enterprises, institutions of learning, and other government-run institutions and organisations.

Article 7.

Programme of a Political Party

Political parties shall each have a programme. The programme of a political party shall be an account of that party's tasks and objectives, as well as ways to implement them,

Article 8.

Statute of a Political Party

Every political party shall have a statute. Each such statute shall contain:

Article 9.

Name and Symbols of a Political Party

The name and symbols of a political party shall not coincide with those of any other (registered) political parties.

Replication of the national symbols of Ukraine or other countries in the symbols of a given political party shall be prohibited.

A political party may have party symbols, including the party anthem, flag, emblem, and motto. The symbols of a political party shall be officially registered with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in keeping with procedures designated by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Regional, city, and district [party] organisations and other structural subdivisions shall use the name of a given party with supplements indicating their position within the political party's organisational structure.

Article 10.

Formation of a Political Party

A political party shall be formed as resolved by its constituent convention (conference, meeting). The resolution shall be supported by at least ten thousand signatures on the part of Ukrainian citizens with a right to vote during elections, [which signatures are to be] collected in at least two-thirds of the districts of at least two- thirds of the administrative regions [oblasts] of Ukraine and in the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, and in at least two-thirds of the [administrative] districts of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea.

The constituent convention (conference, meeting) of a political party shall adopt its statute and programme, and shall elect its executive and supervisory-auditing bodies.

A political party shall start operating only after being [officially] registered. Unregistered political parties shall not be allowed to operate.

Chapter III. Registration and Rights of Political Parties

Article 11.

Registration of Political Parties

Registration of political parties shall be the prerogative of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

In order to register a political party, the following documents shall be submitted along with an application:

The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine shall register a given political party after verifying the documents thus submitted.

After registration, a political party shall obtain the status of a legal entity.

The amount payable as registration fee shall be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

A political party, within six months from the date of registration, shall secure the formation and registration, in keeping with this Law, of its regional, city, and district organisations in most regions of Ukraine, in the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, and in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea.

The regional, city, and district party organisations or other structural subdivisions envisaged by the statute shall be registered by relevant bodies of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, unless otherwise provided by law, only after the political party has been registered with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. After registration, regional, city, and district party organisations may obtain the status of a legal entity, if so envisaged by the statute.

Bodies registering political parties and their regional, city, and district organisations envisaged by the statute shall keep registers. The latter's format shall be adopted by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

After registration, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and its pertinent bodies shall issue political parties and their regional, city, district organisations or other structural subdivisions envisaged by their statutes with registration certificates in the format designated by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Every political party shall annually inform the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine about its regional, city, district organisations or other structural subdivisions envisaged by the statute. Every political party shall also advise the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine of any changes in the name, programme, statute, and executive bodies of the party, their address and whereabouts within a week after making decisions on such changes.

The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine shall annually publish a list of registered political parties and their legal addresses.

Within 30 days from the date of receipt of the documents indicated in Clauses 1-6 of this Article 11, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine shall determine to grant or refuse registration of a given political party. The said time-limit may be extended by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in case of necessity, provided the additional time does not exceed 15 days.

Registration may be refused if [any of the documents] thus submitted turn out at variance with the Constitution, this or [any] other laws of Ukraine.

The registration authorities indicated in Section 5 of this Article 11 shall determine to register the statute-designated regional, city, district organisations or other structural subdivisions of a given political party within 10 days from the date of receipt of the registration application certified by the political party's supervisory body.

Enclosed the application shall be:

When refusing registration, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine shall provide the applicant with a written motivated resolution.

Decisions granting or refusing registration, or failure to make such a decision, on the part of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine or other registration authorities may be appealed to a court of law.

Refusal of registration shall not prevent a given political party from applying for registration again.

Article 12.

Rights Vested in Political Parties

Political parties shall have a right to:

Political parties shall be guaranteed the freedom of opposition, including:

Article 13.

International Activities of Political Parties

Political parties may maintain contacts with political parties and volunteer organisations in other countries, international and intergovernmental organisations, make co-operation agreements, and conduct other activities inasmuch as they do not contradict the laws and international treaties of Ukraine. Political parties shall not make any agreements making these parties subordinate to or dependent on any foreign organisations or political parties.

Political parties may establish international associations/unions or join them provided their statutes/charters envisage the creation of only consulting or co-ordinating central bodies.

Chapter IV. Funds and Other Property of Political Parties

Article 14.

Funds and Other Property of Political Parties

The state shall guarantees political parties the right to have funds and other property to carry out their statutory tasks.

Political parties shall be non-profit organisations.

In order to carry out their statutory tasks, political parties shall be entitled to movable and immovable property, funds, equipment, transport, and other facilities the acquisition of which is not prohibited by the laws of Ukraine. Political parties may lease any such movable and immovable property as they may require.

Article 15.

Finance Restrictions

Financing political parties shall be prohibited:

Banks shall notify the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine of any entries on political parties' accounts contrary to this Law.

Funds received by political parties contrary to this Law shall be transferred by these parties to the State Budget of Ukraine or exacted by a court of law for the benefit of the state.

Article 16.

Exercise of Title to Property Owned by a Political Party

The title to a political party's property, including money owned by that party, shall be exercised in accordance with the laws of Ukraine and in keeping with procedures designated by that party's statute.

Article 17.

Financial Reporting of a Political Party

A political party shall have a monthly financial report covering incomes and expenditures and a report on its property carried by a central government-run periodical.

Political parties shall keep books and records in accordance with set procedures.

Chapter V. State Control over the Activities of Political Parties

Article 18.

Bodies Exercising State Control over Political Parties

State control over political parties shall be exercised by:

Political parties shall provide any such documents and explanations as may be required by the controlling authorities.

Decisions made by controlling authorities may be contested in keeping with legally established procedures.

Article 19.

Measures that Can be Taken re Political Parties

The following measures can be taken with regard to political parties transgressing the Constitution, this and other laws of Ukraine:

Article 20.

Warning of Unlawful Activity

If the leadership of a political party publicly announces its intention to commit acts punishable under the law, the controlling authority shall issue a notice warning against such unlawful activity.

If an act committed by a political party does not entail other kinds of answerability, the controlling authority shall instruct this party to correct the transgression.

The leadership of a political party shall promptly correct any such transgressions as may have caused such warning, and shall within five days notify the authority that issued the warning of the measures taken to correct the transgressions.

Article 21.

Banning a Political Party

A court of law may rule to ban a political party, as submitted by the Ministry of Justice or General Prosecutor of Ukraine, in case it transgresses [any of] the requirements to the formation and operation of political parties set forth in the Constitution, this and other laws of Ukraine.

A ban on a political party shall entail termination of that party's activities, dissolution of its executive bodies, regional, city, and district organisations, party cells, and other structural subdivisions envisaged by the statute of that party, and termination of its membership.

Article 22.

Amenability of Officials and Citizens for Transgressions of the Laws on Political Parties

Officials and citizens found to have transgressed this Law, namely:

shall be meted out disciplinary and administrative punishments, made liable or criminally prosecuted in accordance with the laws of Ukraine.

Article 23.

Termination of a Political Party

A political party shall be terminated by reorganisation or liquidation (self-dissolution), or when banned or stripped of the registration certificate in keeping with procedures set forth in this and other laws of Ukraine.

A political party shall be reorganised or self-dissolved as resolved by that party's convention (conference) in accordance with its status. Simultaneously, the convention (conference) shall resolve to use the party property and funds for statutory or charitable purposes.

Article 24.

Cancellation of the Registration Certificate

If a political party fails to comply with Section 6 of Article 11 hereof, if within three years from the date of registration this party is found to have submitted corrupt information when applying for registration, if this party fails to nominate Ukrainian presidential and parliamentary candidates within ten years, the registration authority shall turn to the Supreme Court of Ukraine, requesting cancellation of the registration certificate. The latter shall not be revoked for any other reasons.

The Supreme Court ruling revoking the registration certificate shall entail termination of a given political party, dissolution of its executive bodies, regional, city, and district organisations, party cells, and other statutory subdivisions, and shall terminate party membership.

Chapter IV. Closing Provisions

1. This Law shall inure on the date of publication.

2. The enactment of this Law shall not entail re-registration of political parties.

3. The political parties shall, not later than a year from the date of the next elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, take all measures required to implement this Law, make the required adjustments in their statutory documents, and submit them to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

4. The Cabinet of Ministers, acting within its competence, shall make decisions ensuing from this Law and submit proposals aimed bringing legislative acts in conformity with this Law.

Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine

City of Kyiv,

April 5, 2001