|First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine|
19 June 1993 – 16 December 2015
|People's Deputy of Ukraine|
12 May 1994 – 27 November 2014
|Constituency||Communist Party, Donetsk Oblast,
|3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th convocations|
12 May 1994 – 27 November 2014
|Constituency||Communist Party, No.1|
|Born||Petro Mykolayovych Symonenko
1 August 1952
Donetsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||Communist Party of Ukraine|
|Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1978 - 1991)|
|Children||Maria (born 2009), 2 (adult) sons|
Petro Mykolayovych Symonenko (Ukrainian: Петро́ Микола́йович Симоне́нко; born 1 August 1952) is a Ukrainian politician and the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine. Symonenko was the Communist Party's candidate in the 1999 and 2004, 2010[nb 1] and until his withdrawal, the 2014 presidential election.
Symonenko was born in Donetsk. He became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1978, and worked as a party functionary in 1980s. He has been the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine since 1993. He is also the Chairman of the Communist Party Faction in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament).
Symonenko has been a Ukrainian delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. From 1994 to 1996 he was a member of the Ukrainian parliament's Constitution Commission.
He was a candidate in the 1999 presidential election, receiving 22.24% of the votes in the first round and taking second place. In the second round he won 37.8% of the votes, losing to Leonid Kuchma. His election program had classic communist content.
In late 2002 Viktor Yushchenko (Our Ukraine), Oleksandr Moroz (Socialist Party of Ukraine), Yulia Tymoshenko (Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc) and Symonenko issued a joint statement concerning "the beginning of a state revolution in Ukraine". The communist left the alliance, Symonenko was against a single candidate from the alliance in the Ukrainian presidential election 2004, but the other three parties remained allies (until July 2006).
Symonenko's support sharply declined at the time of the 2004 presidential election. Symonenko received 5% of the votes and came in fourth place, unable to get into the controversial runoff which caused the Orange Revolution.
Symonenko was re-elected to the Verkhovna Rada in the September 2007 parliamentary election. At the opening of the new parliament's first session on 23 November 2007, he was re-elected as Chairman of the Communist Party faction.
In the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election initially he ran as a candidate of his party on a federalization-platform that should have eventually led to a "parliamentary system without the institution of the presidency at all". But he withdrew from the race on 16 May. He stated he withdrew "to save Ukraine from arbitrariness, which takes place today" and said about the elections itself "in our opinion they will be illegitimate". Later the same day, Symonenko's car was attacked by a mob with baseball bats and Molotov cocktails as he left a TV interview. He was uninjured in the incident. In the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election he received 1.51% of the vote.
Stance on Holodomor
On 28 November 2006, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) narrowly passed a law defining the Holodomor as a deliberate act of genocide and made public denial illegal. Commenting in 2007, Symonenko said he "does not believe there was any deliberate starvation at all," and accused President Viktor Yushchenko of "using the famine to stir up hatred." In response, Yushchenko declared he wants "a new law criminalising Holodomor denial."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Petro Symonenko.|
- "People's Deputy of Ukraine of the II convocation". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "People's Deputy of Ukraine of the III convocation". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "People's Deputy of Ukraine of the IV convocation". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "People's Deputy of Ukraine of the V convocation". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "People's Deputy of Ukraine of the VI convocation". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "People's Deputy of Ukraine of the VII convocation". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- Leader of Communist Party Symonenko got married second time, UNIAN (28 September 2009)
- Chief communist of Ukraine has extramarital affair!, MIGnews (February 2, 2009)
- Biography, Ukrainian Parliament
- Bloc of left and center-left forces to nominate CPU Leader for Ukraine's president, Interfax-Ukraine (October 3, 2009)
- Four parties unite to participate in presidential election, Interfax-Ukraine (September 14, 2009)
- Leader of Communist party stands for step-by-step transition to federation followed by elimination of post of president, Interfax-Ukraine (8 April 2014)
- Communist leader Symonenko withdraws his candidacy from presidential race, Kyiv Post (16 May 2014)
- "Opening of the First Session of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the 6th Convocation", Verkhovna Rada website, 23 November 2007.
- Understanding Ukrainian Politics: Power, Politics, and Institutional Design by Paul D'Anieri, M.E. Sharpe, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7656-1811-5, page 117
- Ukraine coalition born in chaos, BBC News (July 11, 2006)
- "The Makeup of the New Verkhovna Rada", Ukrayinska Pravda, November 5, 2007.
- Spravedlyvist Party backs Communist leader as single candidate from left political forces at president election, Interfax-Ukraine (October 10, 2009)
- (in Ukrainian) Союз Лівих Сил підтримав кандидатуру Петра Симоненко, Union of Leftists (October 16, 2009)
- (in Ukrainian) Події за темами: XXII з’їзд Соціал-демократичної партії України(о), UNIAN (October 17, 2009)
- Social-Democratic Party supports Symonenko as single candidate for president post from left political forces, Kyiv Post (October 17, 2009)
- (in Ukrainian) ЦВК оприлюднила офіційні результати 1-го туру виборів, Gazeta.ua (January 25, 2010)
- (in Ukrainian) Список депутатів нової Верховної Ради, Ukrayinska Pravda (11 November 2012)
- "Poroshenko wins presidential election with 54.7% of vote - CEC". Radio Ukraine International. 29 May 2014.
(in Russian) Results election of Ukrainian president, Телеграф (29 May 2014)
- Laura Sheeter, "Ukraine remembers famine horror", BBC News, 24 November 2007