Ukraine is governed by a constitution adopted in June 1996, which allows for an elected parliament and president.
The Ukrainian parliament consists of a single chamber with 450 seats called the Rada (Supreme Council); members serve four-year terms. The prime minister and cabinet are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Supreme Council. Ukraine's second post-independence parliamentary elections were held in March 1998, and the third in March 2002. Although many parties participate in the elections, many candidates run as independents as well.
Ukraine's first post-independence presidential elections were held in two rounds on 26 June and 10 July 1994. In this election, the incumbent Leonid Kravchuk was defeated by his former prime minister, Leonid Kuchma, who was reelected in November 1999. Presidential elections were due in 2004. The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term.
There is also a National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), originally created in 1992 but strengthened under Kuchma. The Nh2DC develops national security policy on domestic and international matters, and advises the president. A Presidential Administration and a Council of Regions also advise the president.