Ukrainian Constituent Assembly
|Ukrainian People's Republic|
|Established||November 29, 1917|
|Preceded by||Central Council of Ukraine|
(succession never realized)
|January 9, 1918|
The Ukrainian Constituent Assembly (Ukrainian: ? ) was a planned All-National Congress which was supposed to confirm the Constitution of the Ukrainian People's Republic and establish a new political system. The Assembly was supposed to be the supreme state power and elections to which were to be organized by the Central Council (also known as the Central Rada), which would hold its sessions between the meetings of the Assembly. The Assembly was suspended because of the Russian aggression in the Ukrainian-Soviet War (December 25, 1917) that led to a proclamation of Ukrainian independence by the IV Universal.
The idea for an All-National Congress (sojm) surfaced after the February Revolution, but was strongly opposed by the Russian Provisional Government which interpreted it as separatism on the part of the Central Council. In its very first Universal the Central Council declared that only the All-National Congress has "the right to approve all laws" in Ukraine. At its sixth session (August 18-22, 1917) the Central Council recognized the importance of the organization of such an institution and held a forum for an electoral system and the convening of the assembly.
After the sixth session of the Central Council the most influential party in the Russian Empire, the Kadets, resigned from the Ukrainian council in protest at the arranging of the All-National Congress. By the end of September several other parties of national minorities such as the Mensheviks of the RSDRP, the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, and the Bund protested against a Ukrainian Constituent Assembly. The Minor Rada (the Executive Committee of the Central Council) tried to find a compromise due to those protests and declared that the National Assembly would be confirmed by the All-Russian Constituent Assembly. The compromise resulted in some reconciliation among the members of the Central Council which elected a commission to design the laws that would govern the Constituent Assembly. Nonetheless, on 30 October 1917 the Russian Provisional Government accused the Ukrainian government of separatism, suspended funding of the General Secretariat, and declared its intention to turn to the courts. A special delegation to Petrograd was organized to negotiate the issue, however its mission was suspended and later canceled due to the Bolshevik coup-d'état in the capital.
On October 12, 1917 the Central Rada passed the fundamental laws on elections to the assembly. It also instructed the Minor Rada to confirm the laws and organize the elections. The III Universal of the Central Rada (November 20, 1917) designated January 9 as election day while the first convention of the assembly was scheduled to take place on January 22. The Universal also decreed that until the assembly convened the legislative power of the Ukrainian autonomy remained the Central Rada. The law on the Constituent Assembly was ratified on November 29, 1917. There were expected to be 301 deputies which was around 1 per 100,000 constituents. The appointed head of the electoral commission was M.Moroz.