Self Reliance (political party)

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Self Reliance
Leader Andriy Sadovyi
Founded 29 December 2012
Headquarters Lviv
Ideology Christian democracy[1]
Political position Centre-right[2]
European affiliation None
International affiliation None
Colours Green, White
Slogan In unity there is power
Verkhovna Rada[3]
26 / 450
Regions (2015)[4]
893 / 158,399

Union "Self Reliance" or "Self Help" (Ukrainian: Об'єднання «Самопоміч»; Ob'yednannya «Samopomich») is a political party in Ukraine. It is led by the incumbent mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi. It was founded on 29 December 2012, and identifies with the ideology of "Christian morality and common sense." The name of the party is similar to the name of the NGO, founded by Sadovyi in 2004. The party won 33 seats in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[5][6]


The name and ideology of the party is referring to the history of Ukrainian cooperative movement, which started in Western Ukraine in the beginning of 20th century. The financial societies that appeared prior to World War I in Galicia were formed as a part of Ukrainian national movement. The idea to start Ukrainian national financial cooperation societies belonged to Dr. Yevhen Olesnytskyi, lawyer, the head of Stryi's Prosvita movement and member of the Austro-Hungarian Parliament.[7][8] He started to organise seminars for like-minded people, who supported the idea of solving economic problems before resolving political issues. The fight against poverty and backwardness was the main goal of the organisation, which quickly acquired popularity. T he local Prosvita activists supported the call for action, and already in 1904 Ostap Nyzhankivskyi, composer and priest from the village Zavadiv near Stryi, founded first cooperative of milk producers.

The idea proved to be popular among Ukrainian peasants, and in 1914 the Union of Milk Cooperatives united more than 100 unions under the leadership of Ostap Nyzhankivskyi. Soon the Union started to issue its own newspaper, which received the name 'Samopomich'. The WWI and the following Polish-Ukrainian war interrupted the movement, as its activists devoted themselves to the work for the West Ukrainian People's Republic. The leader of the movement, Ostap Nyzhankivskyi, became the district commissar of Stryi and died in the battle for the city on 13 May 1919.

The cooperative activism reemerged after the WWI. The officers of the Ukrainian Galician Army who had emigrated to Czechoslovakia and Denmark, returned to Ukraine and brought there the experience of European cooperative movement. Until late 1930s, the new cooperative 'Ukrainian Milk Society 'Maslosoyiuz' united up to 500,000 farms, and became an important player in the European agriculture market.

The practice of cooperation spread to other spheres of life: Galician Ukrainians founded their own bank (bank 'Dnister'), trade network (shops of 'Maslosoyiuz' and 'People's Trade'), supervision bodies (Revision Union of Ukrainian Cooperatives), insurance companies, educational system, etc. Such organisations, as Sokil, Plast, Sport Society 'Ukraine' popularised healthy lifestyle, the Taras Shevchenko Academic Society united scientists and intellectuals. The WWII and Soviet repressions brought an end to the civic activity on the territory of Ukraine.


History prior to taking part in elections[edit]

The contemporary history of the political party Self Reliance started in 2004, with the creation of an NGO called "Self Reliance". Andriy Sadovyi, who was the director another NGO - Institute of the City Development - initiated the foundation of an organisation, which would derive from the history and traditions of the Ukrainian cooperation movement. Thus, the Civic Organisation "Self Reliance" was established on 4 November 2004. The main activities of the organisation were: promoting legal literacy among the citizens, promoting healthy lifestyle, organisation of the volunteer movement and establishing local cooperation entities.[9][10]

In 2006 Andriy Sadovyi was elected the mayor of Lviv. He relied on the Self Reliance team in creating the development strategy for the city of Lviv. In 2010 Sadovyi was reelected for the office of mayor.

On 14 October 2012 Sadovyi began the formation of the Self Reliance political party. The party united the legacy of Ukrainian cooperative movement and Christian-democratic ideology. Self Reliance was registered as a political party on 29 December 2012.[11] In 2013, Self Reliance had its first constituent assembly in the Building of Pedagogical Museum in Kyiv.[1] The party started to form local representation units and develop ideological approach.

In November, 2013 started the Euromaidan protests, in which Self Reliance activists have actively participated.

Kyiv City Council elections[edit]

Self Reliance participated in the 25 May 2014 elections to the Kiev City Council.[12] The party asked the citizens to propose candidates for the election, and assigned the position in the party list according to the preferences of the public. In that election, the party received 7.4% of votes and won five seats in the Council.[13][14]

2014 Parliamentary elections and parliamentary faction[edit]

On 28 February 2014, the party's leader Andriy Sadovyi, said that Self Reliance would take part in the snap parliamentary elections scheduled for October 2014.[15] However, in the Ukrainian parliamentary election Hanna Hopko headed the party list, followed by Donbas Battalion commander Semen Semenchenko, while Sadovyi obtained the 50th place. The party campaigned for local self-organisation and decentralisation. The party finished third in the election.[6]

It was the only party which did not have any former parliamentarians on its election list but rather people from community NGOs and medium-sized businesses.[10][16] Candidates of Volia were included in the election list of Self Reliance.[17] Its parliamentary faction received 33 mandates including one won at constituency elections.[6] The faction includes experts-activists out of the Reanimating Package of Reforms (a public initiative), military personnel and business representatives (mostly IT-related).[2] By party affiliation, the faction consists mostly out of unaffiliated deputies, while there is one deputy of the Ukrainian People's Party and only three members of the Self Reliance party.[2]

The top five members of parliament included Hanna Hopko, Semen Semenchenko, Oleksiy Skrypnyk, Oksana Syroyid, and Viktor Kryvenko.

Following the elections the party became a member of the coalition supporting the current second Yatsenyuk Government and it had one minister in this government, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Oleksiy Pavlenko.[18][19][20]

Hopko and Kryvenko were expelled from Self Reliance on 31 August 2015 for violating faction discipline, as they supported the amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution that would lead to decentralization and greater powers for the pro-Russian separatists on the territory they occupied during the War in Donbass.[21][22] By late October 2015, the Self Reliance faction in the Rada had shrunk from 33 seats to 26 seats.[3]

The party did not do particularly well in the 2015 Ukrainian local elections (winning approximately 10% of the votes); but its candidate Oleksandr Senkevych was elected Mayor of Mykolayiv in the elections.[23][24]

On 4 February 2016 leader of Self Reliance parliamentary faction Oleh Berezyuk stated that Pavlenko no longer represented his party in the second Yatsenyuk Government.[18]

On 17 February 2016, after a supported by the party but failed motion of no confidence against the government, Self Reliance issued an official statement on its Facebook page in in which it argued "A cynical coup has occurred in Ukraine, with the help of the president, the prime minister, the kleptocratic part of the coalition, and the oligarch bloc" that led to the second Yatsenyuk government being an "illegitimate government".[25] The next day Self Reliance left the coalition.[26][25]

The party did not join the coalition that supports 14 April 2016 installed Groysman Government.[27]


According to party leader Andriy Sadovyi, Self Reliance shares the liberal conservatism ideology of Margaret Thatcher,[28] but Timofey Milovanov of the University of Pittsburgh disagrees, claiming,[nb 1] "They have no ideology. Some of their laws are conservative, some are populist, and some are liberal".[28]

Election results[edit]

Party support (% of the votes cast) in different regions of Ukraine (in the 2014 election).

Verkhovna Rada[edit]

Year Popular vote  % of popular vote Overall seats won Seat change Government
2014 1,727,744 10.98
33 / 450
Increase 33 Coalition government


  1. ^ Based on his 2015 study of Ukraine's main parties on their legislative track records.[28]


  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram. Parties and Elections in Europe Retrieved 26 October 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help); |chapter= ignored (help)
  2. ^ a b c d Dear Deputies (partology). 9 February 2015
  3. ^ a b (Ukrainian) Депутатські фракції і групи VII скликання Deputy fractions and Groups, Verkhovna Rada official website
  4. ^ Кандидати, яких обрано депутатами рад. (in Ukrainian). 15 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk’s parties maneuver for lead role in coalition , Kyiv Post (29 October 2014)
    New Verkhovna Rada, Kyiv Post (30 October 2014)
  6. ^ a b c Poroshenko Bloc to have greatest number of seats in parliament, Ukrinform (8 November 2014)
    People's Front 0.33% ahead of Poroshenko Bloc with all ballots counted in Ukraine elections - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
    Poroshenko Bloc to get 132 seats in parliament - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
  7. ^ History. Self Reliance New York F.C.U.
  9. ^ Samopomich NGO
  10. ^ a b Olszański, Tadeusz A. (29 October 2014), A strong vote for reform: Ukraine after the parliamentary elections, OSW—Centre for Eastern Studies 
  11. ^ (Ukrainian) В Міністерстві юстиції зареєстровано партію «Самопоміч», 3 January 2013
  12. ^ (Ukrainian) «Самопоміч» оприлюднила виборчий список у Київраду, 21 April 2014
  13. ^ (Ukrainian) In Kyivrada are 9 parties - official results, Ukrayinska Pravda (3 June 2014)
    (Ukrainian) 60% of the new Kyivrada is filled by UDAR, Ukrayinska Pravda (4 June 2014)
  14. ^ (Ukrainian) UDAR has 75% of the constituencies in Kyivrada, Ukrayinska Pravda (3 June 2014)
    (Ukrainian) 60% of the new Kyivrada is filled by UDAR, Ukrayinska Pravda (4 June 2014)
  15. ^ (Ukrainian) Садовий піде на парламентські вибори з партією «Самопоміч», 28 February 2014
  16. ^ "Ukraine Votes On Oct. 26 To Elect New Parliament", Kyiv Post (24 October 2014)
  17. ^ Poroshenko Bloc candidates leading in 64 single-seat constituencies - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (27.10.2014)
  18. ^ a b (Ukrainian) Berezyuk Pavlenko no longer represents the "Self", Ukrayinska Pravda (4 February 2016)
  19. ^ Rada supports coalition-proposed government lineup, Interfax-Ukraine (2 December 2014)
    Rada approves new Cabinet with three foreigners, Kyiv Post (2 December 2014)
    (Ukrainian) Rada voted the new Cabinet, Ukrayinska Pravda (2 December 2014)
  20. ^ Five political forces sign coalition agreement, Interfax-Ukraine (21 November 2014)
    Ukraine's parliamentary parties initial coalition agreement, Interfax-Ukraine (21 November 2014)
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Mayors of Mykolayiv, Ivano-Frankivsk become known after elections, Ukrinform (16 November 2015)
  24. ^ Poroshenko Bloc, Batkivschyna, Nash Kray get largest number of seats in local councils – Ukrainian Voters Committee, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2015)
    Why a 'Star Wars' Emperor Won Office in Ukraine, Bloomberg News (26 October 2015)
    Exit Polls Show Ukraine Divided For, Against Poroshenko Rule, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (27 October 2015)
    After Ukraine’s Local Elections: Early Misinterpretations, Carnegie Europe (27 October 2015)
    Poroshenko hobbles on, Politico Europe (26 October 2015)
    Week’s milestones. Elections to be continued, blackmail in Minsk, and emotional lustration, UNIAN (27 October 2015)
  25. ^ a b Batkivschyna faction pulls out of coalition, UNIAN (17 February 2016)
    Batkivshchyna faction leaves ruling coalition, Kyiv Post (17 February 2016)
  26. ^ Samopomich pulls out from ruling coalition in parliamen, Interfax-Ukraine (18 February 2016)
    (Ukrainian) "Self" comes from the coalition, Ukrayinska Pravda (18 February 2016)
  27. ^ "Ukraine MPs approve Volodymyr Groysman as new PM". BBC News. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
    New Cabinet formed in Ukraine, UNIAN (14 April 2016)
    Week’s balance: PM Groysman, Rada’s sabotage, and disappointing IMF forecast, UNIAN (18 April 2016)
    (Ukrainian) Spring transplantation: Prime Groisman and without a coalition Cabinet, Ukrayinska Pravda (14 April 2016)
  28. ^ a b c Looking West: Lviv Models Itself As Ukraine's Future, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (23 October 2015)

External links[edit]