Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united)

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Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united)
Соцiал-демократична партiя України (об`єднана)
Abbreviation SDPU(o)
Chairman Yury Zahorodny
Deputy Chairman Ihor Shurma
Founded May 27, 1990 (1990-05-27)
Headquarters Kiev
Newspaper Nasha Hazeta[1]
Youth wing Ukrainian Social Democratic Youth
Membership (2005) 405,000
Ideology Social democracy
Political position Centre-left
National affiliation Bloc of Left and Center-left Forces
European affiliation None
International affiliation Socialist International (consultative)[2]
Colours      Red
Verkhovna Rada
0 / 450

The Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) (Ukrainian: Соцiал-демократична партiя України (об`єднана); СДПУ(о)), is a Ukrainian political party that was originally established as the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine. At the 1998 and 2002 parliamentary elections it won parliamentary seats, since then not.[3] When in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) the party was influential, but since the Orange revolution (of late 2004[4]) it has been marginalized.[5]


Social Democratic Party of Ukraine[edit]

The Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Соціал-демократична партiя України) was founded in May 1990.[3][6] During the 1991 presidential elections it supported Viacheslav Chornovil. The party did win two seats in the 1994 parliamentary elections.(in Ukrainian) In 1995 the party merged with Party of Human Rights (Ukrainian: Партії прав людини) and Ukrainian Party of Justice (Ukrainian: Українською партією справедливост) to form Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united).[7]

Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united)[edit]

In 1998 the leadership of the party became the head of Leonid Kuchma's presidential administration Viktor Medvedchuk, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk and by Ukrainian tycoon Hryhoriy Surkis. During the presidential term of Leonid Kuchma the party portrayed itself as a centrist, social-democratic moderate political force that advocated integration with Europe and supported the president. The party was closely linked to presidential administration and big business (from Kiev).[8][9] At the 1998 parliamentary elections it won 4,01%[3] (its traditional stronghold was Zakarpattia Oblast[8]); during this election the party ran on a moderate Ukrainian nationalist ideology.[8] In October 1998 several prominent former members of the party established the (new party) Ukrainian Social Democratic Party.[10]

During the 1999 presidential elections the party supported Leonid Kuchma.

During the 2002 parliamentary elections SDPU(o) won 6.27% of the national vote[3] and 24 seats.[8] Final poll results in 2002 had predicted the party to win 9-10% of the total votes.[11] This election the party promoted left-wing Russophile agenda's.[8] It did considerably better in the Donbass and Crimea than 4 years earlier.[8] Early January 2003 the SDPU(o) faction did consist of 40 seats.[8]

SDPU(o) opposed Viktor Yushchenko's coalition of liberal and nationalist movements and in March 2002 it blamed nationalist elements linked to the pro-Yushchenko "Our Ukraine" alliance for the murder of the vice-governor of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, who was an SDPU(o) member.[8]

During the Ukrainian presidential election, 2004 SDPU(o) also took a strongly pro-Russian and anti-Western stand and backed the candidacy of Viktor Yanukovych. In the aftermath of Viktor Yushchenko's "Orange Revolution", SDPU(o) declared itself to be in opposition to the new government.[12] Analysts say that TV channels and other media controlled by the party (Inter, 1+1, TET)[13][14] have started a sharp anti-U.S./anti-NATO campaign in response to Yuschenko's pro-Western policies. Around the Orange Revolution (late 2004[4]) more ten 10 deputies left the SDPU(o) faction in the Ukrainian parliament; late-January 2005 the faction included 27 deputies in the 450-seat parliament.[12]

Ivan Rizak, the head of the Trans-Carpathian SDPUo branch and governor of the Trans-Carpathian Oblast, was arrested in May 2005 and charged with abuse of public office and driving a pro-opposition university rector to suicide last year. That same month, the party was accused of involvement in the 2000 murder of Georgiy R. Gongadze, with the journal Ukrayina moloda (April 14, 2005) accusing party members of using the dead journalist's corpse in a plot to discredit President Leonid Kuchma and force early elections, which could have led to party leader Medvedchuk succeeding Kuchma.

Former logo

SDPU(o) claims this to be a part of the political campaign of persecution from the new authorities. Supporters of the "Orange Revolution" on the other hand claim that the party enjoyed privileged status under the old regime and was closely associated with big business, organized crime, corruption, and media bias in favour of Leonid Kuchma, then President of Ukraine.

Despite being one of the most active political parties with a wide range of political activities and a significant number of student and youth members, SDPU tend to lose a significant amount of votes due to the notoriety of its leaders for their business and political practices.

Before the 2006 parliamentary elections, some commentators regarded SDPU(u) as one of three hard-line anti-Yuschenko forces (the others being the Party of Regions and the Communist Party).[15] Those days the party made approachments towards the Socialist Party of Ukraine.[8] At the legislative elections of 26 March 2006, the party was part of the Opposition Bloc "Ne Tak" and failed to clear the 3% minimum to get into parliament.[3] It has thus disappeared from the national political stage. Currently the party is working on draft concepts who will determine its future.[16] The current leader is Yury Zahorodny.[17]

The party did not participate in the 2007 parliamentary elections.[3]

The party participated in the 2010 presidential election as part of the Election bloc of left and central left political forces.[18] This decision made ex-President of Ukraine Kravchuk leave the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united), Kravchuk declared he also was indignant due to the fact that the political council of the party decided to accomplish that behind the closed doors in non-democratic order. He called the block as the artificial union without any perspectives.[19][20]

The party did not take part in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election nationwide proportional party-list system;[21] instead one members of the party tried to win a seat in one of the 225 local single-member districts; in this district situated in Brovary the candidate got 340 votes (the winner 31.678 votes) and thus failed to win a seat in parliament.[22][23][24][25] The party failed again to win a seat in the 7 July 2013 by-election in constituency 224 in Sevastopol.[26]

The party did not participate in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[27]

Oil-for-Food Programme[edit]

The party received 1 million barrels worth of oil vouchers in the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme.[28]

Election results[edit]

Verkhovna Rada[edit]

Election year # of
constituency votes
# of
party list votes
% of
party list votes
# of
overall seats won
1998 1,066,113 4.1
17 / 450
2002 1,626,721 6.5
24 / 450
Increase 7
2006 Opposition Bloc 'Not So' 1.0
0 / 450
Decrease 24
2007 did not participate -
0 / 450
2012 did not participate -
0 / 450
2014 did not participate -
0 / 450

See also[edit]


  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f (in Ukrainian) Соціал-демократична партія України (об'єднана), Database DATA
  4. ^ a b "Timeline: Battle for Ukraine". BBC NEWS, 23 January 2005. URL Retrieved 12 September 2006
  5. ^ Left and Center - Left Parties in Ukraine, Friedrich Ebert Foundation (November 2010)
  6. ^ Janusz Bugajski (2002). Political Parties of Eastern Europe: A Guide to Politics in the Post-Communist Era. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 943–. ISBN 978-1-56324-676-0. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States 1999, Routledge, 1998, ISBN 1-85743-058-1 (page 872)
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Virtual Politics - Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World, Andrew Wilson, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-300-09545-7
  9. ^ Ukrainian politics, energy and corruption under Kuchma and Yushchenko by Taras Kuzio (7 March 2008)
  10. ^ (in Russian) Украинская социал-демократическая партия, Информационно-аналитический центр "ЛІГА"
  11. ^ Ukraine's election frontrunners, BBC News (28 March 2002)
  12. ^ a b Medvedchuk emerges from shadows, Kyiv Post (27 January 2005)
  13. ^ Virtual Politics - Faking Democraty in the Post-Soviet World, Andrew Wilson, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-300-09545-7
  15. ^
  16. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  18. ^ Bloc of left and center-left forces to nominate CPU Leader for Ukraine's president, Interfax-Ukraine (October 3, 2009)
  19. ^ Kravchuk left SDP(u) Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine. (in Ukrainian)
  20. ^ Kravchuk leaves Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united), Interfax-Ukraine (September 25, 2009)
  21. ^ (in Ukrainian) Information on the registration of electoral lists of candidates, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  22. ^ Results of the vote count, Kyiv Post (9 November 2012)
  23. ^ (in Ukrainian) Single-mandate constituency number 97, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  24. ^ Party of Regions gets 185 seats in Ukrainian parliament, Batkivschyna 101 - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2012)
  25. ^ (in Ukrainian) Candidates, RBC Ukraine
  26. ^ Novinsky wins by-election to Rada in Sevastopol, according to CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 July 2013)
    By-election to parliament in 224th majority constituency of Sevastopol scheduled for July 7, says CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (18 April 2013)
    (in Ukrainian) Вибори у Севастополі почалися вчасно, порушень поки немає Elections in Sevastopol began on time, no violations Archived 2013-07-10 at the Wayback Machine., Ukrinform (7 July 2013)
  27. ^ Alphabetical Index of parties in 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  28. ^ "The Beneficiaries of Saddam's Oil Vouchers: The List of 270". The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). January 29, 2004. 

External links[edit]