Ukrainian National Rada

Ukrainian National Rada (Ukrainska natsionalna rada). A council formed in Lviv on 18 October 1918 to represent the Ukrainian ethnic territories within the Austro-Hungarian Empire in their quest for self-determination. Its membership included all Ukrainian deputies in both houses of the Austrian parliament and the Galician Diet and Bukovynian Diet, three representatives from each Ukrainian political party in the two crown lands, a group of nonpartisan specialists, and selected deputies from counties and towns. Several seats were reserved for representatives of national minorities, but they were never filled. The Rada's total membership was 150. On 9 November 1918 the Rada proclaimed the establishment of the Western Ukrainian National Republic (ZUNR). With its legislative and review powers the Rada served as the parliament of ZUNR and the body to which the State Secretariat of the Western Ukrainian National Republic (the latter's executive branch) was accountable. The plenum of the Rada elected an executive consisting of a president and nine members. It was responsible for key state functions, including installing the government, granting amnesties, appointing directors of higher state offices, and enacting legislation passed by the Rada. The post of president was filled first by Kost Levytsky and then by Yevhen Petrushevych. All constitutional powers were transferred to President Petrushevych as the ‘dictator plenipotentiary’ on 9 June 1919, when the government of the ZUNR was forced to quit the country and the Ukrainian Galician Army retreated beyond the Zbruch River. Until the calling of the next plenum of the Ukrainian National Rada Petrushevych was invested with all military and civil executive powers (see Dictatorship of the Western Province of the Ukrainian National Republic).

Mykhailo Dobriansky-Demkovych

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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