United Civic Party of Belarus
|Russian name||Объединенная гражданская партия|
|Founded||1 October 1995|
|Merger of||United Democratic Party, |
|National affiliation||United Democratic Forces of Belarus|
|European affiliation||European People's Party (observer)|
|International affiliation||International Democrat Union (associate member)|
|Colours||Red and white|
|House of Representatives|
0 / 110
|Council of the Republic|
0 / 64
0 / 18,110
The United Civic Party of Belarus (Belarusian: Аб'ядна́ная грамадзя́нская па́ртыя Белару́сі, romanized: Abjadnanaja hramadzianskaja partyja Biełarusi, Russian: Объединённая гражданская партия) is a liberal-conservative and liberal political party in Belarus. The party opposes the government of Alexander Lukashenko and has participated in the country's elections on a few occasions, but it did not have a single member in the Belarusian parliament until one member was elected during the 2016 elections. It claims that its lack of seats is due to the unfairness of the election process.
The party was established in 1995 as a result of a merger of two like-minded parties, the United Democratic Party (formed in 1990) and the Civil Party (formed in 1994). The party's chairman is Anatol Labiedźka; deputy chairmen are Alaksandar Dabravolski and Jarasłaŭ Ramančuk. Lebedko represents the party most visibly in both domestic and international settings, and has been involved in numerous altercations with the Belarusian authorities.
At the legislative elections, 13–17 October 2004, the party was part of the People's Coalition 5 Plus, which did not secure any seats. According to the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, these elections fell significantly short of OSCE commitments. Universal principles and constitutionally guaranteed rights of expression, association and assembly were seriously challenged, calling into question the Belarusian authorities’ willingness to respect the concept of political competition on a basis of equal treatment. According to this mission principles of an inclusive democratic process, whereby citizens have the right to seek political office without discrimination, candidates to present their views without obstruction, and voters to learn about them and discuss them freely, were largely ignored.
In the 2008 elections, the party ran on its own, finishing in third place with 2.33 percent of the official vote and no seats gained. As with most of the opposition parties, the UCP boycotted the 2012 election, urging its supporters to abstain from voting as to not give credence to the process.
For the 2016 elections, the party formed an alliance with the BPF Party, the Belarusian Christian Democracy, the Social Democratic Party (Assembly), the 'Za svabodu' movement, the Green Party, the BLPFP, the Trade Union of Electric Industry and independent candidates. Party candidate Hanna Kanapatskaya won a seat in the 97th electoral district in the Kastryjčnickaja district of Minsk, making her and one other independent candidate the first opposition MPs represented in parliament since 2004. The party didn't win any seats in the 2019 Belarusian parliamentary election, and with the loss of the other pro-opposition independent, left it and the opposition without any representation within the House of Representatives once again.
UCP has a organisation for women and a youth organisation in its structure.
In 1995-2000, the youth organisation of the UCP was "Civil Forum", which left UCP during parliamentary elections of 2000, when the UCP boycotted it against the wishes of Civil Forum. Culadzimer Novosiad, chairman of Civil Forum, ran and won a seat in Parliament.
In 2000, the youth organisation was "UCP Youth", created to replace Civil Forum, but was rather an artificial structure in the party.
From later that year until 2009, YCSU Young Democrats was officially a youth wing of UCP, but in February 2009 at the congress of YCSU Young Democrats, a decision to stop cooperating with the party was taken. Some members did not support the decision to restrain cooperation with United Civic Party and left, staying as UCP Youth.
- Bugajski, Janusz (2002), Political Parties of Eastern Europe: A Guide to Politics in a Post-Communist Era, The Center for Strategic and International Studies, p. 22, ISBN 978-1-56324-676-0
- Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Belarus". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
- Wilson, Andrew (2011-12-06). Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship. Yale University Press. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-300-13435-3.
- Korosteleva, Elena A. (2005). "Party System Development in Belarus, 1988–2001: Myths and Realities". In Kulik, Anatoly; Pshizova, Susanna (eds.). Political Parties in Post-Soviet Space: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltics. Praeger. p. 63. ISBN 0-275-97344-1.
- European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity Archived 2014-10-02 at the Wayback Machine
- OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Archived January 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- About Archived 2016-09-03 at the Wayback Machine Prava Vybaru
- Official website (in Belarusian) (in English)