Political parties in Ukraine
|This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
This article lists political parties in Ukraine. Ukraine has a multi-party system with numerous political parties, in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.
Many parties in Ukraine have very small memberships and are unknown to the general public. Party membership in Ukraine is lower than 1% of the population eligible to vote (compared to an average 4.7% in the European Union). National parties currently not represented in Ukraine’s national parliament Verkhovna Rada do have representatives in municipal counsels. Small parties used to join in multi-party coalitions (electoral blocks) for the purpose of participating in parliamentary elections; but on November 17, 2011 the Ukrainian Parliament approved an election law that banned the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections. Ukrainian society's trust of political parties is very low overall. Ukraine’s election law forbids outside financing of political parties or campaigns.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
|Number of parties|
Even before Ukrainian independence political parties in Ukraine started to form around intellectuals and former Soviet dissidents.[not specific enough to verify] They posed the main opposition to the ruling Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine (CP(b)U). At the first convocation of the Verkhovna Rada those party formed the parliamentary opposition People's Council. The most noticeable parties of the parliamentary opposition were People's Movement of Ukraine (The Movement) and Ukrainian Republican Party. Due to the August Putsch in Moscow, a process to prohibit communist parties in Ukraine took place. Led by Oleksandr Moroz, the parliamentary faction of the CP(b)U, Group of 239, started a process to reforming CP(b)U into the Socialist Party of Ukraine. The restriction on existence of communist parties in Ukraine was successfully adopted soon after the Ukrainian independence, however in the couple of years the resolution was later challenged and eventually the restriction was lifted. In 1993 in Donetsk took place the first congress of the reinstated Communist Party of Ukraine led by Petro Symonenko.
In the hysterically organized next parliamentary elections the communists surprisingly achieved the highest party rating, while the main opposing party, the Movement, did not gain even a quarter of their earned seats. Relatively strong has performed the reformed party of CP(b)U, Socialist Party of Ukraine, and its major ally, Peasant Party of Ukraine. About a third of the elected parliamentary were not affiliated. The elections became a major fiasco of the Democratic forces in Ukraine. After the 1994 elections numerous independent political parties were elected to the Ukrainian parliament creating nine deputy groups and parliamentary factions: Communists, Socialists, Agrarians, Inter-regional Deputy Group (MDG), Unity, Center, Statehood, Reforms, and the Movement. A concept of a "situational majority" was first used during that convocation to form a parliamentary coalition. The ruling coalition in the parliament often included Communist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, Agrarians, MDG, and Unity.
During the Kuchma presidency (1994-2004) parties started to form around politicians who had achieved power; these parties where often a vehicle of Ukrainian oligarchs.[not specific enough to verify] Those parties took their root from the next ruling coalition of the third convocation of Ukrainian parliament that consisted of factions "Fatherland", "Hromada", Party of Greens of Ukraine, People's Democratic Party, the Movement (K), the Movement, Reforms and Order - Reforms-Congress, Social Democratic Party (united), Labor Party of Ukraine, Revival of Regions group, Independents group and non-affiliated deputies. It was the first parliamentary coalition which did not include the Communist Party of Ukraine and since then there was a signification decline in an explicit communist presence in the Ukrainian politics. Scholars have defined several "Clans" in Ukrainian politics grouped around businessman and politicians from particular Ukrainian mayor cities; the "Donetsk-clan" (Rinat Akhmetov, Viktor Yanukovich and Mykola Azarov), the "Dnipropetrovsk-clan" (Yulia Tymoshenko, Leonid Kuchma, Viktor Pinchuk, Sergey Tigipko and Pavlo Lazarenko), the "Kiev-clan" (Viktor Medvedchuk and the brothers Surkis; this clan has also been linked to Zakarpattia) and the smaller "Kharkiv-clan". Professor Paul D'Anieri has argued (in 2006) that Ukrainian parties are "elite-based rather than mass-based". While former Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine (2000–2006) Dietmar Studemann believes that personalities are more important in Ukrainian politics than (ideological) platforms. "Parties in the proper meaning of this word do not exist in Ukraine so far. A party for Germans is its platform first, and its personalities later."
Ukrainian parties tend not to have a clear ideology but to contain different political groups with diverging ideological outlooks. Unlike in Western politics, civilizational and geostrategic orientations play a more important role than economic and socio-political agendas for parties. This has led to coalition governments that would be unusual from a Western point of view; for example: the Azarov Government which includes the Party of Regions with the financial backing of some Ukrainian oligarchs and the Communist Party of Ukraine and the social-democratic Batkivshchyna and the economically liberal European Party of Ukraine in the Second Tymoshenko Government.
After the 2002 elections the Ukrainian parliament saw some consolidation of democratic political parties and the establishment of the main political camps in Ukraine: a coalition of nationally oriented deputies with the pro-European vector, a coalition of left-wing parties, and the pro-Russian parties coalition of the former Soviet nomenklatura. A major change took place during the Orange revolution when finally the two opposing political camps were established after left-wing coalition has split.
Major parties and political camps
- a pro-Western and pro-European general liberal national democrats who from time to time featured individual politicians with a nationalist past (for example Andriy Shkil, Andriy Parubiy and Levko Lukyanenko) with the Our Ukraine Blocs and Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko (now Fatherland) as its frontrunners; UDAR replaced the Our Ukraine Bloc in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election.
- a pro-Russian, latently Eurosceptic, often anti-American and partly anti-liberal group of parties, which in the 1990s was dominated by the Communist Party of Ukraine, and is now dominated by the Party of Regions.
The first movement (mentioned above) gets his voters mainly from Western Ukraine and Central Ukraine; the latter from Eastern Ukraine and Southern Ukraine. The electorate of CPU and Party of Regions is very loyal to them. Since the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election Fatherland and UDAR cooperate with the far more radical nationalistic All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda".
After the 2007 parliamentary election the parties associated with the Our Ukraine Bloc (named Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc in 2007) lost popular support greatly while Front of Changes (the party of former Our Ukraine politician Arseniy Yatsenyuk) and Strong Ukraine achieved good results in polls for the next Ukrainian parliamentary election and in the 2010 local elections (Strong Ukraine merged with the Party of Regions on 17 March 2012); so did All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda", a party who can not be placed in the above mentioned two major movements. Till the 2009 Ternopil Oblast local election "Svoboda"'s role in Ukrainian politics had been extremely marginal.
November 17, 2011 the Ukrainian Parliament approved an election law that banned the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections; since then several parties have merged with other parties. Front of Changes and former Our Ukraine Bloc and Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko members performed in the 2012 parliamentary elections under "umbrella" party Fatherland. Front for Changes leader Yatsenyuk headed this election list; because Fatherland-leader Yulia Tymoshenko was imprisoned.
On 15 June 2013 Reforms and Order Party and Front for Change merged into Fatherland. A part of People’s Movement of Ukraine (including its former chairman Borys Tarasyuk) also merged with Fatherland (the rest of this party had merged with Ukrainian People's Party in May 2013).
Current parliamentary factions
It is possible for 15 or more deputies to form a parliamentary faction (a lawmaker can join only one faction; the chairman and his two assistants cannot head factions of deputies).
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|Party of Regions||Fartherland||UDAR||Freedom||Communists||Non-affiliated|
|End of previous convocation||195||97||DNP||DNP||25||31||348||102|
|December 12, 2012||208||99||42||36||32||27||444||6|
|June 11, 2013||207||93||42||36||32||34||444||6|
|Latest voting share||46.6%||20.9%||9.5%||8.1%||7.2%||7.7%|
|Note: The parties United Centre (3 seats), People's Party (2 seats), Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko (1 seat) and Union (1 seat) did not form there own faction. Their deputies did not join any faction besides 1 deputy of People's Party who became member of the Party of Regions faction in December 2012.|
Former parliamentarian parties
The Communist Party of Ukraine (Soviet Union) was prohibited in 1991, however its members were not excluded from the Ukrainian parliament. They formed a parliamentary faction of the Socialist Party of Ukraine. For the 1994 parliamentary elections however the ban on communist parties was lifted and there were two parties with similar ideologies running for parliament the Socialist Party of Ukraine and the Communist Party of Ukraine that was reestablished in 1993.
Political alliances and blocs (1998-2012)
The idea of electoral blocs as a loose association of parties was introduced in 1998, however it did not become popular right away. The real success of electoral blocks came in 2002 when the Bloc of Victor Yushchenko "Our Ukraine" gained the most parliamentary seats. The electoral blocs system was liquidated in 2011 forcing registration of individual parties for the next 2012 parliamentary elections. The longest existing political blocs were Our Ukraine and Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko.
The association of parties however was transformed into a new concept of an "umbrella party" when several parties temporarily unite under such party that becomes a core party of informal electoral bloc. Below is the list of official electoral blocs in 1998 - 2012 that led to creation of their own parliamentary factions.
- Bloc of SPU-SelPU (1998-2002)
- Our Ukraine (2002-2012; Bloc of Viktor Yushchenko, Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense Bloc)
- For United Ukraine (2002-2006)
- Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (2002-2012)
- Bloc of Volodymyr Lytvyn (2007-2012)
The following blocs did not form their parliamentary factions due to small number of their representatives.
- Labor Ukraine Bloc
- National Front (Ukraine)
- Party of Labor (Ukraine) - Liberal Party of Ukraine
- Bloc of Democratic Parties NEP
- Social Liberal Union SLOn
- Fewer Words
- Unity (Ukraine)
- Democratic Party of Ukraine - Democratic Union (Ukraine)
List of parties that did not make to the parliament of Ukraine or parties that are spin offs of former parliamentary factions.
- Political Party "Cathedral Ukraine"
- All-Ukrainian Union "Center"
- All-Ukrainian Chornobyl People's Party "For the Welfare and Protection of the People"
- Civil Position, (merged with All-Ukrainian Union Fatherland (United Oppostion) for 2012 parliamentary elections)
- Communist Party of Ukraine (renewed)
- Conscience of Ukraine
- All-Ukrainian Political Party "Ecology and Social Protection"
- For Fairness and Prosperity
- Party of Free Democrats
- Internet Party of Ukraine
- National-Democratic Association "Ukraine"
- All-Ukrainian Party of Peace and Unity
- People's Party New Ukraine
- All-Ukrainian Party of People's Trust
- Political Party of Small and Medium-sized Businesses of Ukraine
- Social-Christian Party
- Union of Leftists
- United Left and Peasants
- Your Ukraine
- For Ukraine! (formerly Party of Social Protection),
- Ukrainian Peasant Democratic Party
- People Power, merged with United Left and Peasants
- Justice Party
- Rural Revival Party
- All-Ukrainian Patriotic Union.
- Workers Resistance
- Ukrainian Beer Lovers Party
Major Regional Parties and electoral blocs
- Leonid Chernovetskyi Bloc (Disbanded itself on September 22, 2011)
- For Yanukovych! (associated with Party of Regions; (only) participated in the 2006 Crimean parliamentary election)
- Solidarity (associated with Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united))
Defunct parties (and electoral blocs)
This list of other alliances (on November 17, 2011 the Ukrainian Parliament approved an election law that banned the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections) and defunct parties is based on the parties and alliance that did take part in parliamentary elections before the 2007 Ukrainian national election but have not taken part in any national election since then, some party's did change to different political alliances since then.
- Toiling Ukraine (later as Unity and Yevhen Marchuk - Unity) (1998 - 2007)
- Ukrainian Party of Justice (1998 - 2006)
- Unity (2002 - 2007)
- Slavonic Party (as Civil Congress of Ukraine)
- Social Democratic Union (2002)
- Young Ukraine (2002)
- Force and Honor (as Party of Liberty) (2006)
- Women Solidarity of Ukraine (2006)
- National Front, bloc split into Viktor Yushchenko Bloc and Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
- For truth, for people, for Ukraine!
- Party of Labor and Liberal Party - TOGETHER!, bloc split into Viktor Yushchenko Bloc and For United Ukraine
- Forward, Ukraine, both parties merged into Christian Democratic Union
- Ukrainian Christian Democratic Party
- Christian People's Union
- Bloc of Democratic parties (later as DemPU-DS) (1998 - 2006)
- Social Liberal Association
- Constitutional Democratic Party
Interregional Bloc of Reforms(a Russian split off from Party of Democratic Revival of Ukraine, dissolved in 2001)
- Less Words
- All-Ukrainian Association "Svoboda"
State Sovereignty of Ukraine(dissolved in 2003)
- European Choice of Ukraine (later as Team of Winter Generation, People's Bloc of Lytvyn and Volodymyr Lytvyn Bloc) (1998 - 2012)
- Ukrainian Peasant Democratic Party (1998 - 2007)
- People's Party (2006 - 2012)
- Liberal Democratic Party of Ukraine (1998 - 2006)
- Constitutional Democratic Party (2002)
- Party of Private Property (2002)
- Justice (2006)
- Strong Ukraine (as Labor Party of Ukraine) (2007)
- Viktor Yushchenko Bloc "Our Ukraine" (later as Our Ukraine and Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense) (2002 - 2012)
- People's Movement of Ukraine (2002 - 2012)
- Christian Democratic Union (2002 - 2012)
- Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists (National Front) (2002 - 2007)
- Our Ukraine (2006 - 2012)
- Ukrainian Platform "Assembly" (as Ukrainian Republican Party "Assembly") (2006 - 2012)
- People's Self-Defense (originally as Forward, Ukraine!) (2002–06 and 2007–12)
- Ukrainian People's Party (originally as Ukrainian People's Movement) (2002–06 and 2007–12)
- Liberal Party of Ukraine (Party of Labor and Liberal Party - TOGETHER)
- Youth Party of Ukraine
- Party of Reforms and Order
- Republican Christian Party
- Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Ukraine (2006)
- Time (2007)
- Party of Homeland Defenders (2007)
- European Party of Ukraine (2007)
- For United Ukraine (later as Lyudmyla Suprun Bloc and Ukrainian Regional Asset) (2002 - 2012)
- People's Democratic Party (2002 - 2012)
- Democratic Party of Ukraine (2006 - 2012)
- People's Party (as People Agrarian Party of Ukraine) (later took over Team of Winter Generation)
- Party of Regions (as Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine)
- Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Ukraine
- Toiling Ukraine
- Christian Democratic Party of Ukraine (2006)
- Christian Liberal Party of Ukraine (2006)
- Republican Christian Party (2007)
- Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (2002 - 2012)
- Fatherland (2002 - 2012)
- Ukrainian Social Democratic Party (2002 - 2012)
- Ukrainian Platform "Assembly" (as Ukrainian People's Party "Assembly)
- Ukrainian Republican Party (National Front) (merged with Assembly, later reestablished)
- Party of Reforms and Order (2007)
- Natliya Vitrenko Bloc (later as People's Opposition) (2002 - 2007)
- Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (2002 - 2007)
- Party of Educators of Ukraine
- Ruthenian Ukrainian Union (2006)
- Ruthenian bloc (later as For Union and KUCMA) (2002 - 2017)
- Union (2002 - 2012)
- Ruthenian bloc (as For United Ruthenia) (2002-06 and 2012-17)
- Ruthenian Ukrainian Union
- Socialist Ukraine (2006)
- Homeland (2006)
- Slavonic Party (2006)
- Union of Labor
- Light from the East
- People's Movement of Ukraine
- People's Movement of Ukraine for Unity
- All-Ukrainian Association "Center"
- Against all (later as Patriots of Ukraine) (2002 - 2007)
- Patriotic Party of Ukraine (2002 - 2007)
- Political Party of Small and Middle Business
- Ukrainian National Conservative Party (2006)
- Ukrainian Party - New World
- Ukrainian Party
- New World
- Ukrainian People's Bloc (2006 - 2012)
- Ukraine Assembled (2006 - 2012)
- Party of Rural Revival
- Ukrainian People's Party
- All-Ukrainian Chornobyl People's Party (2007)
- Civil Bloc Time - Party of Reforms and Order (split between Our Ukraine and BYuT)
- Party of Reforms and Order (PRP)
- Opposition Bloc "Not So!"
- Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united)
- Women for the Future
- Republican Party of Ukraine
- All-Ukrainian Association "Center"
- Yuriy Karmazin Bloc
- Party of Homeland Defenders
- National Democratic Association "Ukraine"
- All-Ukrainian Party of Peace and Unity
- Lazarenko Bloc
- All-Ukrainian Association Hromada
- Social Democratic Party of Ukraine
- Social Democratic Union
- State - Toiling Union
- All-Ukrainian Party of Workers
- Power of People (later as Bloc of Pensioners' Parties of Ukraine) (2006 - 2012)
- Bloc of Borys Oliynyk and Mykhailo Syrota
- Informative Ukraine
- Party of Health
- Strong Ukraine (as Labor Party of Ukraine)
- Bloc of Independents "Sun"
- United Family
- Women of Ukraine
- Peasant Bloc "Agrarian Ukraine"
- Peasant Bloc "Agrarian Ukraine"
- Party of Rural Revival
- Ukrainian Peasant Democratic Party
- Christian Bloc
- All-Ukrainian Community
- People's Council
- Group of 239
- Situational majority
- Pro-presidential coalition
- Left coalition
- For United Ukraine
- Left coalition
- Democratic coalition
- Coalition of democratic forces
- Anti-crisis coalition
- National development, stability and order
- Stability and reforms
Ukrainian parties before 1991
- Ukrainian Social Democratic Labour Party
- Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionary Party
- Ukrainian Communist Party
- Ukrainian Socialist Party (1900)
- Ukrainian Socialist Party (1950)
- Some Ukrainian parties could not be clearly classified as belonging to one of these two major movements, they where either synthesising the ideas of the two camps and/or strove to position themselves as a balancing force; examples of these parties are Socialist Party of Ukraine, Lytvyn Bloc and Labour Ukraine.
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UDAR submits to Rada resolution on Ukraine’s integration with EU, Interfax-Ukraine (8 January 2013)
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Batkivschyna, UDAR, Svoboda to coordinate their actions at presidential election, Interfax-Ukraine (16 May 2013)
- Yatsenyuk forecasts immigration flow-out due to economic crisis, Kyiv Post (November 28, 2008)
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Strong Ukraine party decides on disbanding to join Regions Party, Kyiv Post (March 17, 2012)
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Рейтинг партий[dead link]
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(Ukrainian) "ФРОНТ ЗМІН" ІДЕ В РАДУ З "БАТЬКІВЩИНОЮ", Ukrayinska Pravda (7 April 2012)
Yatseniuk wants to meet with Tymoshenko to discuss reunion of opposition, Kyiv Post (7 April 2012)
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Front for Change, Reforms and Order to dissolve for merger with Batkivshchyna - Sobolev, Ukrinform (11 June 2013))
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Tymoshenko re-elected Batkivshchyna leader, Yatseniuk council chair, Ukrinform (15 June 2013)
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Voting for the Verkhovna Rada regulations amendment
Stenogram of November 6, 2012 session
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Explaining State Capture: Russia and Ukraine, Central European University (2001)
- Voters head to polls in Ukraine, China Central Television (28 October 2012)
- (Ukrainian) Кириленко об'єднався з Яценюком, Ukrayinska Pravda (December 22, 2011)
- (Ukrainian) Соцпартії не сподобалася назва "Об'єднані ліві і селяни", Gazeta.ua (December 16, 2011)
- Faction of Chernovetksyi’s Bloc stopped its existence, UNIAN (September 23, 2011)
Chernovetsky Bloc in Kyiv City Council disbanded, Kyiv Post (September 22, 2011)
- "Ukrainian News". Ukranews.com. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- Kiev fails to end Crimea's ethnic tension, Oxford Analytica (February 7, 2007)
(Ukrainian) У Януковича в Криму проблеми, Gazeta.ua (March 26, 2009)
(Ukrainian) Соратник Януковича розповів, за що його вигнали з партії, Ukrayinska Pravda (September 15, 2009)
Local government elections in Ukraine: last stage in the Party of Regions’ takeover of power, Centre for Eastern Studies (October 4, 2010)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Political parties in Ukraine|
- Official databases of political parties in Ukraine of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice (Ukrainian)
- Databases DA-TA: Political parties in Ukraine (Ukrainian)
- Databases ASD: Political parties in Ukraine (Ukrainian)
- Ukraine's party system: specifics of establishment, problems of functioning, trends of evolution, 2010 analysis by Razumkov Centre