Petro Poroshenko Bloc "Solidarity"
|Founded||27 August 2014 (in its current form)|
|Slogan||Time to Unite|
143 / 450
8,804 / 158,399
The Petro Poroshenko Bloc "Solidarity" (Ukrainian: Блок Петра Порошенка «Солідарність», Blok Petra Poroshenka «Solidarnist'»), a political party in Ukraine, formed on 27 August 2014. However, it has its roots in a parliamentary group called Solidarity dating from 2000 and has existed since in various forms as a political outlet for Petro Poroshenko.
The party started in 2000 as a parliamentary faction called "Solidarity", set up by Petro Poroshenko, until then a member of the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) faction. Taras Kuzio claims that this happened with the help of then President Kuchma, who allegedly wanted to limit the influence of the SDPU(u). Many deputies elected in 1998 for the Peasant Party of Ukraine and Hromada joined the new parliamentary faction. Based on his parliamentary faction Poroshenko eventually established the Party of Ukraine's Solidarity. In 2000 that party merged into what would become the Party of Regions (later to become for a period the biggest party of Ukraine) and Poroshenko became a Party of Regions deputy.
In 2001 Porroshenko expressed interest in the creation of the Our Ukraine Bloc. However, in order to receive quote in Our Ukraine he had to join the bloc with his whole party. The Party of Ukraine's Solidarity failed to break away from the Party of Regions, therefore Poroshenko decided to create a new phantom party with a similar name, the party "Solidarity". At the 2002 parliamentary elections Solidarity was able to join Our Ukraine. Top party members who received a parliamentary mandate on party list of the Our Ukraine electoral bloc in 2002 were Volodymyr Plyutynsky, Volodymyr Makeyenko, Eduard Matviychuk, Anatoliy Korchynsky, while a single constituency in Vinnytsia Oblast was won by Petro Poroshenko.
After 2002 Solidarity stopped participating in elections. In 2004, the party left Our Ukraine, and was represented by 23 deputies in the Verkhovna Rada (the forming of new factions whose parties were not directly elected into parliament was not unique in Ukraine at the time.)[clarification needed] In March 2013 the Ministry of Justice asked the Central Election Commission of Ukraine for evidence that Solidarity had not been involved in elections since 2003.
On 16 October 2013 a court cancelled the registration certificate of Solidarity. The party could have challenged this on appeal, but did not and was legally eliminated on 31 December 2013 "due to lack of reporting". and because for more than 10 years had not participated in any election.
Petro Poroshenko Bloc
Early in 2014 Poroshenko became leader of the National Alliance of freedom and Ukrainian patriotism "OFFENSIVE", which was renamed "All-Ukrainian Union Solidarity". By doing so, Poroshenko de facto prolonged the life of Solidarity and de facto merged the National Alliance of freedom and Ukrainian patriotism "OFFENSIVE" into Solidarity (legally the original party "Solidarity" does not exist anymore). In May and June 2014, Ukrayinska Pravda characterised the party as "a myth with no website, unknown phone numbers and non existing addresses". At the 2014 presidential election, Poroshenko was elected President of Ukraine.
During a 27 August 2014 party congress, the "All-Ukrainian Union Solidarity" changed its name to "Bloc of Petro Poroshenko", and elected the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Yuriy Lutsenko, as the new leader of the party.
On 2 September, Vitali Klitschko, then parliamentary leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform, stated that since his party and the Petro Poroshenko Bloc had agreed to joint participation in parliamentary elections on 29 March 2014, the two parties were in discussion about running a joint list at the October 26 parliamentary election. On 15 September it became clear that 30% of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc election list would be filled by members of UDAR and that UDAR leader Klitschko was at the top of this list, Klitschko vowed not to resign as incumbent Mayor of Kiev. According to political scientist Tadeusz A. Olszański (in mid-September 2014) this deal with UDAR "enables it to use that party's large-scale structures, which the Poroshenko Bloc itself lacks".
The party won the parliamentary election with 132 seats, beating the runner-up People's Front, who won 82 seats. People's Front was first in the nationwide party vote (22.14% against 21.81%) but the party won 69 constituency seats while People's Front won only 18. On 27 November 2014, the party formed a parliamentary faction of 145 people (at the opening session of the new parliament).
In March 2015 "Solidarity" was added to the name "Bloc of Petro Poroshenko" and party leader Lutsenko announced that the party preferred to be referred to as "Solidarity" because "We need to move away from forming parties with one leader".
According to Ukrainian media research of February 2016 22% of the parties representatives in regional councils and 12% of the parties parliamentary deputies were former members of the Party of Regions.
(Following the fall of the second Yatsenyuk government) the party joined the coalition that supports the 14 April 2016 installed Groysman Government. In the weeks prior to this 11 MPs had switched to the faction making forming the coalition possible.
Klitschko resigned as Petro Poroshenko Bloc chairman (on 26 May) after a new law barring him as head of the Kiev City State Administration to be chairman or a member of a political party took effect on 1 May 2016.
Ideology and positions
The party officially decries populism and advocates for pragmatism and realism. According to Oleg Varfolomeyev of the Eurasia Daily Monitor the party is a liberal party (and UDAR was as well). According to Bohdan Butkevych of the The Ukrainian Week the party does not have an idealogical unity. Due to the fact the party was created shortly before the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election an then its "party list was drawn up by taking almost anyone who was ready and willing to invest their own resources". Hence its parliamentary faction consists of people who "have very different interests, methods of getting into parliament and plans". (Hence) the parties MP's tend not to vote alike.
The party broadly reflects Poroshenko's ideology. On 27 August 2014 newly elected party leader Yuriy Lutsenko stated that the Petro Poroshenko Bloc should help Poroshenko implement his election promises. Official party positions include:
- Open list elections
- Creating a public television network
- Bringing attention to the plight of the Crimean Tatars
- Ensuring language rights for Russian speakers while maintaining Ukrainian as the sole official language
- Membership of Ukraine in the European Union
- Welfare and social protection for poor citizens
- Law enforcement reform and creation of an independent judiciary
- Ending corruption
- Ensuring Ukraine's territorial integrity
- Energy independence for Ukraine
- Abolishing the immunity of senior officials
- Privatizing all Ukrainian coal mines and liquidate or mothball all mines that cannot be privatized (and social support for the workers of the liquidated or mothballed mines and the population of these territories)
- Ban divorce
Election results for Solidarity political party and Petro Poroshenko Bloc.
|Year||Popular vote||% of popular vote||Overall seats won||Seat change||Government|
5 / 450
|2006||Did not participate|
- Petro Poroshenko Bloc
|Year||Popular vote||% of popular vote||Overall seats won||Seat change||Government|
132 / 450
|Election year||Candidate||# of 1st round votes||% of 1st round vote||# of 2nd round votes||% of 2nd round vote||Won/Loss|
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