The Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian: Верховна Рада України; English: Supreme Council of Ukraine) is Ukraine's parliament. The Verkhovna Rada is a unicameral parliament composed of 450 deputies, which is presided over by a chairman or a speaker. It meets in the "Verkhovna Rada building" in Ukraine's capital Kiev.
The Verkhovna Rada was first established in 1938 as the national parliament of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Since then, 17 convocations (sessions) of the Verkhovna Rada were held. The Verkhovna Rada of the 14th convocation officially changed the numbering of sessions, proclaiming itself the Verkhovna Rada of the third convocation. The sixth convocation is the latest convocation of the parliament.
In the Verkhovna Rada elections, the seats are divided among all parties that achieved a minimum 3% nationwide vote tally, using the "Hamilton method of apportionment".
The latest elections in 2007 to the Verkhovna Rada were held on September 30, 2007. On October 8, 2008, President Viktor Yushchenko dissolved the parliament and called early elections, however these never took place.
Next election to the Verkhovna Rada will be held on October 28, 2012.
The name Rada (Ukrainian: Рада) means "council". It originated in medieval Rus', and in the 10th century represented a boyar council. It was also used by Dnieper Cossacks in the 17th and 18th centuries for the meetings where major decisions were made and new councils were elected by popular vote.
- Laws of Ukraine. Law No. 1665-IV: On elections of People's deputies of Ukraine, Article 96. Passed on 2004-03-25. (Ukrainian)
- Ukraine timeline, BBC News
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