For many, political success is a drudgery stretched for decades but Volodymyr Zelensky's had a fast track to the position of head of state. A few minutes before the New Year 2019, he announced his political ambitions on the air of the 1+1 channel, and less than 5 months later, on May 20, 2019, he was inaugurated as the President of Ukraine. 

Voters highly appreciated the large number of election promises of the former showman, and in the second round of elections, they gave him a record 73.22% of the vote. As the youngest guarantor of the Constitution in the history of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, together with the Servant of the People party, also managed to achieve another fantastic success – his political party gained 254 mandates in the parliamentary elections and formed a one-party coalition first time ever in Ukraine’s history.

Such an incredible conjuncture brought a large number of "new faces" to Ukrainian politics, and political culture has received such terms as "Truskavets" (school of deputies), "turbo speed" (accelerated adoption of important initiatives), "LIFT" (a program for enrolling specialists to reform the country) and "digitalization", which brought the digitalization of the public sector. 

In general, Zelensky's election campaign was quite creative and extensive but sometimes representatives of Ze! team were startling everyone with sensational statements – as was the case with the "salary for teachers of 4 thousand dollars". Certainly, given the COVID-19 pandemic and the full-scale Russian invasion, not all of the president's plans may have been implemented. Although a major part of the promises were made true in the first half of his office. It includes the law on popular will  through an all-Ukrainian referendum, the new Electoral Code, the law on de-oligarchization, and the initiative on the land market (in fact, it was introduced not by the president but by deputies from the Servant of the People party). There were also some bluntly controversial initiatives of the guarantor: campaigning polls during the 2020 local elections "Five Questions from the President", plans to plant a billion trees, or the idea of handing out smartphones to retired persons before the full-scale invasion pensioners, which was commonly labeled as "eBabusya" (lit. e-granny).

Civil Network OPORA ⁠analyzed the 5 years of Volodymyr Zelensky term of office, explored the initiatives registered by the sixth President of Ukraine, and how successfully the parliament voted. We also compared Zelensky's work with the activities of his predecessors, such as Petro Poroshenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Viktor Yushchenko, and even Leonid Kuchma.


The President, along with the Cabinet of Ministers and the deputy corps, is entitled to register legislative initiatives. A typical feature of this process is that the President submits much fewer bills (only 4% of all) than the deputy corps but their adoption rate in the parliament is the largest among the institutions mentioned above.

It should be mentioned that in terms of the number of submitted laws, Volodymyr Zelensky was much more active than his predecessors, registering more than 280 drafts. Thus, in this domain, the current head of state is 35% more productive than Petro Poroshenko, exceeding Viktor Yanukovych by as much as 85%, and Viktor Yushchenko only had 9% lower performance.

It is also noteworthy that before the full-scale Russian invasion, Zelensky used to submit almost twice as many initiatives per year as now, although it did not affect the effectiveness of the adoption of presidential initiatives. Thus, 2022 was the most effective (52 laws) in terms of the number of adopted initiatives by the 6th President. However, as a matter of fact, Petro Poroshenko (52 initiatives in 2015), Viktor Yushchenko (57 laws in 2006), and Leonid Kuchma (53 initiatives in 2003) can boast similar results.

In general, those numbers tell us that there are no problems with the adoption of presidential initiatives in the parliament at the moment, and given the sole majority of the Servant of the People party, there should not have been any at all. However, it must be noted that at present, the share of approval of Volodymyr Zelensky's initiatives is slightly lower than that of Petro Poroshenko (by 3%) and Viktor Yanukovych (by 7%), but it is 7% higher than that of Viktor Yushchenko. On the other hand, given that out of more than 280 initiatives submitted by Zelensky, 205 have already been approved, there is nothing to worry about for the guarantor.

All the Presidents analyzed in the study were the most active in the field of international agreements and relations. For example, with Zelensky, 47% of all submitted initiatives are on this topic. Also, the current and previous heads of state quite actively registered initiatives related to security and defense, and legal and economic policy.

In general, only 14% (40) of all initiatives of Volodymyr Zelensky concerned the topic of security and defense. Moreover, most of them (25 out of 40) were submitted after February 24, 2022, but in fact, all of them concerned the introduction or extension of martial law and total mobilization. The only exceptions were two draft laws: on the abolition of conscription during martial law and on the demobilization of conscripts.


Traditionally, the guarantors of the Constitution could boast of support in Parliament from their own political parties. But for some Ukrainian presidents, the "share of loyalty" on the part of other factions was even higher than their own. In general, if we take into account all the votes in the Parliament initiated by the last four Presidents, without considering the technical ones, then Zelensky enjoyed the highest support – 68% of the votes in favour. Other Presidents have much more modest indicators – at the level of 40% for Petro Poroshenko and at the level of 45% for Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Yushchenko.

It is indicative that the average annual support for Zelensky's initiatives in the Parliament never fell below two-thirds of the vote, and in the last two years, it even slightly increased – by another 5%. This indicates reliable support in the Parliament, which has been maintained, due to a number of various factors: from "conversations" with deputies of their own and other factions to public criticism of certain initiatives or vetoing laws.

The approval of initiatives from the Servant of the People faction have recently  been supported by members of the Dovira group and ex-members of the OPFL. After all, even if the "for" button is pressed in 86% of cases, the votes of the Servant of the People faction are not enough. 

The fact is that 226 votes are needed for the adoption of draft laws in the Parliament. While in 2019, this required 89% of the votes "in favour" from all faction members, now 95% of loyalty is required. It is relevant only provided that Ruslan Stefanchuk and Oleksandr Kornienko vote synchronously with the "Servants of the People", despite their non-faction status. After all, while at the beginning of the work of the Parliament of the 9th convocation, there were 254 deputies in the Servant of the People, then as of May 2024, the mono-majority "lost weight" of 17 deputies. This means that it has become much more difficult to collect the necessary votes.

However, only 17 “Servant” MPs supported Volodymyr Zelensky's initiatives in less than 70% of cases. At the same time, only three MPs have less than 60%: Zhan Beleniuk – 58,4%, Daria Volodina – 49%, and Anastasiia Lyashenko – 46%. The reason for this was the absence of MPs during a significant number of votes. 

Ihor Vasylkovskyi, ex-MP (and member of the Servant of the People) also has a low share of supporting votes for the initiatives by the sixth President – 52% and ex-majority members of the Servant of the People have less: Liudmyla Buimister – 40%, Oleksandr Dubinskyi — 10%. Instead, Mykola Tyshchenko supported Zelensky's initiatives in 70% of cases, and Dmytro Razumkov – in 82%.

After all, a typical feature of all parliamentary votes for draft laws initiated by Presidents, as well as in the Parliament as a whole, is a low share of votes "against", which is currently just under 2%. In other words, despite the criticism and discontent, when it comes to voting in parliament, serious "opponents" of Zelensky's initiatives in the Rada are mostly silent.

Among the factions, deputies from the European Solidarity party vote "against" in the most cases – 8.6% , as well as members of the Platform for Life and Peace group – 7.8%. According to this indicator, the most supportive MPs are representatives of the currently banned Opposition Platform – For Life party: Oleksandr Koltunovych – 20%, Anatolii Burmich – 18%, Oleksandr Kachnyi – 18%, Yurii Zahorodniy, Viktor Chornyi, and Serhii Dunaiev – 15% each.


As we can see, the level of support for President Zelensky in the Parliament is much higher than his predecessors used to enjoy. The sixth President also registered quite a lot of initiatives, although in the wake of the full-scale invasion, their number began to decline. On the other hand, reduced performance of the President in this area is not a problem because the main law-making body in Ukraine is the Parliament, where the President's draft laws can always find the de facto votes.

In addition, the implementation of an idea does not always require a draft law. If necessary, it may be submitted by a subject other than the head of state. Thus, the authors of many legislative initiatives from the President's program were members of the Servant of the People faction.

For example, the laws adopted by the Council on the introduction of criminal liability for non-personal voting; on the immunity of people's deputies; on the termination of reimbursements to deputies for missing plenary sessions of Parliament and committee meetings without valid reasons; on the introduction of a free land market.

On the latter case, and in case of many other laws (in particular, on the use of Civil Defense units in the combat zone, on increasing responsibility for the military, or on mobilization) Zelensky was repeatedly criticized for the fact that the President does not want to independently register "unpopular initiatives".

So, as we can see, the first five years of the term in office for the sixth President were active, but not easy. The first political experience turned out to be harsh for Zelensky. After all, instead of the rapid reform of the country, which the President declared and sought to implement, he had to face complex challenges, such as combatting COVID-19, and then defending the state from a full-scale Russian invasion. 

In view of this, it is difficult, and sometimes even impossible, to talk about the outcomes of five years of Zelensky's work or the fulfillment of his election promises. But it is still worth summing up the main political outcome because Zelensky managed to achieve a lot in this regard – he still has a loyal Parliament.