Party of power
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. The concept is similar to that of a cartel party. It is a legislative block that typically backs the executive in a presidential republic. The concept has been commonly applied to post-Soviet political parties. Claims have been made that United Russia, the New Azerbaijan Party, Kazakhstan's Nur Otan, the Republican Party of Armenia, the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan, the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan and Georgian Dream (from 2012) are parties of power. Parties that have been considered as parties of power in the past include the Union of Citizens of Georgia (before 2003), the South Ossetian's Unity Party (until 2014) and Georgia's United National Movement (until 2012).
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.
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.
Russian parties of power
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In the Russian language, the term "party of power" (or more correct "power party" or "party in power") is used to describe the party which advocates the current head of state, the party which belongs to/is controlled by the current government or the party established by the 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 a presidential election to support the winner and not the reverse. The party has the same ideology as the president or prime minister. A party which supports the current president without difficulty wins parliamentary elections. After the party leader loses a presidential election, a party of power without coherent ideology, as a rule, ceases to exist.
List of Russian parties of power
These parties were specially established for support of the incumbent president or prime minister in the Russian parliament:
- Interregional Group of Deputies/Democratic Russia (1990-1993, Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union/Congress of People's Deputies of Russia/Supreme Soviet of Russia)
- Choice of Russia (1993-1995)
- Party of Russian Unity and Accord (1993-1995) headed by Sergey Shakhray (the second "party of power" after 1993 legislative election)
- Our Home – Russia (1995-1999, so called "centre-right party of power")
- Ivan Rybkin Bloc (considered as potential centre-left "party of power" during 1995 legislative election)
- Unity (1999-2001/2003)
- United Russia (2001/2003–present)
- A Just Russia (in 2006-2008/2010 as the second "party of power", support of Vladimir Putin and opposition to United Russia; in 2014 the party wants to join All-Russia People's Front)
- Political parties in Russia#Party of power
- Ruling party
- Dominant-party system
- Multi-party system
- Non-partisan democracy
- 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.
- Isaacs, Rico (2011). Party System Formation in Kazakhstan: Between Formal and Informal Politics. Routledge. p. 38.
- Herron (2009). Elections and Democracy After Communism?. p. 87.
- Baader, Max (2013). Party politics in Georgia and Ukraine and the failure of Western assistance. Promoting Party Politics in Emerging Democracies. Routledge. p. 26.
- Gel′man (2013). Party Politics in Russia. pp. 42–44.