Party of power

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A party of power refers to a political party that has a close relationship with the executive branch of government in a manner that the party is an extension of the executive rather than an autonomous political organization.[1] The concept is similar to that of a cartel party.[1] The concept has been commonly applied to post-Soviet political parties, claims have been made that United Russia, the New Azerbaijan Party, Nur Otan (Kazakhstan),[1] the Republican Party of Armenia, the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan and the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan are parties of power.[2] Parties that have been considered as parties of power in the past include the Union of Citizens of Georgia (before 2003) and the United National Movement (until 2012).[3] After 2014 parliamentary election Ukraine has two parties of power (Petro Poroshenko Bloc and People's Front) which were founded several months before this election but after appointment of Petro Poroshenko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk. These parties will support actions of president and government in the Verkhovna Rada.[citation needed]

Parties of power are typically described as having a hierarchical top-down structure, being centralised, organised in clientelistic networks, lacking a defined or coherent ideology and playing a subordinate role towards the bureaucracy.[4]

The use of the concept and the term "party of power" has been criticized, including by those who claim that, strictly speaking, United Russia and Nur Otan do not possess or exercise power themselves. It is not the parties that make decisions and policies in the last resort. The term "parties of power" may therefore be regarded as misleading.[1]

In Russian language the term "party of power" (or more correct "power party", "party in power") is used to describe "the party, which advocates current head of state", "the party, which belongs to/ controlled by current government" or "the party, established by current highest official in the state". The terms "ruling party" and "party of power" can be considered as antonyms, because a party of power will be established after presidential election for support of winner and not the reverse. The party has the same ideology as the president or prime-minister. A party which supports current president without difficulty wins parliamentary elections. After the party leader lost the presidential election, a party of power without coherent ideology, as a rule, ceases to exist.[citation needed]

Russian parties of power[edit]

These parties were specially established for support of incumbent president or prime minister in the parliament:

See also[edit]


  • Del Sordi, Adele (2011), Parties of power as authoritarian institutions: The cases of Russia and Kazakhstan, Spanish Political Science Association (AECPA) 
  • Gel′man, Vladimir (2013). Party Politics in Russia: From Competition to Hierarchy. Power and Politics in Putin's Russia (Routledge). pp. 35–52. 
  • Herron, Erik S. (2009). Elections and Democracy After Communism?. Palgrave Macmillan. 
  • Oversloot, Hans; Verheul, Ruben (2013), "Managing Democracy: Political Parties and the State in Russia", Political Parties and the State in Post-Communist Europe (Routledge) 
  • Remington, Thomas (2013). Patronage and the Party of Power: President-Parliament Relations under Vladimir Putin. Power and Politics in Putin's Russia (Routledge). pp. 81–110. 


  1. ^ a b c d Isaacs, Rico (2011). Party System Formation in Kazakhstan: Between Formal and Informal Politics. Routledge. p. 38. 
  2. ^ Herron (2009). Elections and Democracy After Communism?. p. 87. 
  3. ^ Baader, Max (2013). Party politics in Georgia and Ukraine and the failure of Western assistance. Promoting Party Politics in Emerging Democracies (Routledge). p. 26. 
  4. ^ Gel′man (2013). Party Politics in Russia. pp. 42–44.