BRAMA - Parties Registered for the March 1998 Election in Ukraine

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The following information is listed alphabetically in English and was obtained from various sources deemed reliable including Holos Ukrainy, RFE/RL, UN and IMF publications, Den, however, responsiblities for errors are our own. Please report any errors of commission and omission to
Agrarian Party (Ahrarna Partiya Ukrainy)
founded by the government while Lazarenko was premier to counter the leftist SelPU and is considered pro-Kuchma. It has nominated 188 candidates, including 24 incumbent Verkhovna Rada deputies and many top local government officials, such as Odesa Governor Ruslan Bodelan, Krym Premier Anatoliy Franchuk, the governors of Rivne and Zhytomyr, and several deputy governors.
Christian-Democratic Party of Ukraine (Khrystyyansko- Demokratychna Partiya Ukrainy)
A small but long-established party headed by Vitaliy Zhuravskyy, it has nominated only 100 candidates, few of whom are well known.
Communist Party of Ukraine (Komunistychna Partiya Ukrainy)
Ukraine's strongest party, it has nominated a full slate of 225 candidates, including 46 incumbent Verkhovna Rada deputies. It is led by CPU First Secretary Petro Symonenko.
DemPU-NEP (Vyborchyy Blok Demokratychnykh Partiy NEP-- Narodovladdya, Ekonomika, Poryadok)
was formed by the Democratic Party (Demokratychna Partiya Ukrainy--DemPU) and Party of Economic Rebirth (Partiya Ekonomichnoho Vidrodzhennya). Volodymyr Yavorivskyy's DemPU was previously one of the best known democratic and nationalist parties--along with Rukh and the Ukrainian Republican Party--but appears to have fallen on hard times, unable to find prominent partners with whom to ally. It has managed to nominate only 172 candidates, and its list includes shady characters such as former Premier Yukhym Zvyahilskyy, who was accused of massive corruption and fled to Israel, returning only when granted immunity from prosecution. DemPU's partner, although identified in the official list as the Party of Economic Rebirth, is actually the "Party of Economic Rebirth of Krym." The rebirth party's chairman, Krym Verkhovna Rada deputy Volodymyr Shevyov, explained in a 30 December Krymskaya Pravda interview that his party had joined with DemPU and had managed to collect over 500,000 signatures for NEP. This presumably solved the hardpressed DemPU's problem of getting registered. The NEP list includes many candidates from Krym, who, however, are not identified with the rebirth party, which is a small party even in Krym.
European Choice (Vyborchyy Blok "Yevropeyskyy Vybir Ukrainy")
formed in November 1997 by the Liberal-Democratic Party (Liberalno- Demokratychna Partiya Ukrainy) and Ukrainian Peasant Democratic Party (Ukrainska Selyanska Demokratychna Partiya) to promote the "Europeanization" of Ukraine, it is favorable toward Kuchma. Its list of 81 candidates is headed by chief editor of the paper Nash Chas Viktor Prysyazhnyuk (No. 1) and President of the Association of Farmers of Ukraine Mykola Shkarban (No. 3) but otherwise included few prominent figures. Both parties, while long established, have new leaders--Andriy Koval for the LDPU and Prysyazhnyuk for the USDP. The Ukrainian Peasant Democratic Party had once been part of Rukh and is nationalistic. The Liberal-Democratic Party of Ukraine has no connection with Vladimir Zhirinovskiy's Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.
Forward, Ukraine (Vyborchyy Blok "Vpered, Ukraino!")
formed by the Ukrainian Christian Democratic Party (Ukrainska Khrystyyansko- Demokratychna Partiya) and Party of Christian-Popular Union (Partiya Khrystyyansko-Narodnyy Soyuz), the bloc put prominent non-party figures at the head of its list: Verkhovna Rada Deputy Chairman Viktor Musiyaka as No. 1, Hryhoriy Omelchenko (chairman of the Verkhovna Rada's committee for fighting crime and corruption) as No. 2, former Justice Minister Serhiy Holovatiy as No. 3, and Verkhovna Rada committee chairman Volodymyr Stretovych as No. 4. In all, there are 19 incumbent Verkhovna Rada deputies in the bloc's list of 151. Earlier, Viktor Pynzenyk's Reforms and Order Party was going to join Forward, Ukraine, but this fell through.
Greens (Partiya Zelenykh Ukrainy)
the environmental party, it nominated only 77 candidates, few of whom are well known. Greens leader Vitaliy Kononov recently said that his party "can realistically obtain 9-10 seats" and that he had signed a memo with the NDP and SDPU (o) on "coordination" of candidates in territorial districts.
Hromada (Vseukrainske Obyednannya "Hromada")
led by former Premier Pavlo Lazarenko and former YeESU head Yuliya Tymoshenko, it is the only party besides the Communists to mount a full slate--225 candidates. It is based in Dnipropetrovsk, where Lazarenko was governor and where YeESU is based, and has 12 Dnipropetrovsk incumbent Verkhovna Rada deputies on its list (including Lazarenko and Tymoshenko). Reflecting Hromada's influence in the press, the list includes the editors of Pravda Ukrainy and Holos Ukrainy.
Labor Party-Liberal Party (Vyborchyy Blok "Partiya Pratsi ta Liberalna Partiya-Razom")
formed by Liberal Party head and former Donetsk Governor Volodymyr Shcherban and Labor Party head and former Deputy Premier Valentyn Landyk, it has an almost full slate--219 candidates. It probably will be strongest in Donetsk, where Shcherban and Landyk are from and where the Liberal and Labor parties are based. The list includes Kuchma's controversial former chief of staff Dmytro Tabachnyk, who now is back as counselor to the president.
Less Talk (Vyborchyy Blok "Menshe Sliv")
was formed in November by the neo-fascist Social National Party (Sotsial- Natsionalna Partiya Ukrainy) and State Independence association (Vseukrainske Politychne Obyednannya "Derzhavna Samostiynist Ukrainy"). Their attempts to ally with the National Front bloc ended in failure. State Independence head Roman Koval explained that his party did not join the nationalist National Front bcause the members of that bloc "see the SIU as an ultra-radical party". One of the Social Nationalist leaders, Oleh Tyahnybok, insisted "we are nationalists" not fascists and has threatened to sue CPU leader Petro Symonenko for calling them fascists. Tyahnybok, No. 7 on the bloc's list, said his party is based in west Ukraine. The bloc put up a slate of only 44 candidates.
Moslem Party (Partiya Musulman Ukrainy)
has nominated only 19 candidates.
National Front (Vyborchyy Blok Partiy "Natsionalnyy Front")
was formed by three long-established nationalist parties--the Ukrainian Republican Party (Ukrainska Respublikanska Partiya--URP) led by Levko Lukyanenko, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists (Konhres Ukrainskykh Natsionalistiv--KUN) led by Slava Stetsko, and the Ukrainian Conservative Republican Party (Ukrainska Konservatyvna Respublikanska Partiya) led by Stepan Khmara (Vecherniy Kiev, 24 December 1997). It has nominated 181 candidates, including 14 Verkhovna Rada deputies.
NDP (see Popular Democratic Party)
NEP (see DemPU-NEP)
Party of Defenders of the Fatherland (Partiya Zakhysnykiv Vitchyzny)
Its 43-member list includes a variety of little-known business and scholarly officials .
Party of National-Economic Development of Ukraine (Partiya Natsionalno-Ekonomichnoho Rozvytku Ukrainy)
is led by Prominvestbank head Volodymyr Matviyenko, it appears largely a vehicle of his bank, with 15 of its 53 candidates from that bank.
Party of Regional Rebirth of Ukraine (Partiya Rehionalnoho Vidrodzhennya Ukrainy)
was started in November by Donetsk Mayor Volodymyr Rybak, who heads its list, and includes the mayor of Simferopol and also Volodvmyr Malynkovych, former co-chairman of the Slon bloc. Rybak said the purpose of the bloc is to protect the socio-economic interests of regions and expand regional independence. The party has nominated 104 candidates.
Party of Spiritual, Economic, and Social Progress (Partiya Dukhovnoho, Ekonomichnoho I Sotsialnoho Prohresu)
The party's 60-person list is headed by the party's leader, Ivan Burdak, and includes business and scientific figures, none very well known.
Popular Democratic Party (Narodno-Demokratychna Partiya Ukrainy-- NDP)
Closest to Kuchma, it nominated 189 candidates. Its list is headed by Premier Valeriy Pustovoytenko, Vinnytsya Governor and NDP head Anatoliy Matviyenko (No. 2), former Verkhovna Rada Chairman Ivan Plyushch (No. 3), with a number of other Kuchma government officials and establishment figures. Head of Kuchma's Administration Yevhen Kushnaryov also belongs to the NDP but is not running for the Verkhovna Rada.
Progressive Socialist Party (Prohresyvna Sotsialistychna Partiya)
Led by radical Socialist Verkhovna Rada deputy Natalya Vitrenko, has been called a "representative of the hard left," and Volodymyr Marchenko (No. 2), who joined NNNNVitrenko in quitting the SPU in the past. Competing with the CPU and SPU, it reportedly argues for a "return to the 'radiant past"' of the early Soviet period and establishing closer ties with Russia and Belarus. Vitrenko's platform reportedly includes "confiscatory monetary reform and nationalization of national security enterprises"--needed, she said, because privatization had failed to create jobs. The party has put up a slate of 83, 17 of whom are pensioners.
Reforms and Order Party (Partiya "Reformy I Poryadok")
It is an alliance of economic reformers led by former Deputy Premier Viktor Pynzenyk, who quit the Kuchma government in frustration at lack of progress on reform, head of the "Reforms" faction in the Verkhovna Rada Serhiy Sobolev, and reformist Mariupol Mayor Mykhaylo Pozhyvanov. At first the Reforms and Order Party was going to join Forward, Ukraine, but then dropped the effort. Reforms and Order was supposed to reflect Pynzenyk--for reforms--and Hryhoriy Omelchenko, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada committee for fighting crime and corruption-- for order--but Omelchenko joined Forward, Ukraine instead. The party put up a slate of 191 candidates.
Republican Christian Party (Respublikanska Khrystyyanska Partiya)
This new party is led by two well-known figures who had quit Rukh and later the Ukrainian Republican Party (URP). Mykola Porovskyy (chairman of the Republican Christian Party and earlier deputy chairman of Rukh and then of the URP) is No. 1 on the list, while Mykhaylo Horyn (former Rukh leader and former URP head) is No. 2. In addition, Oleh Bakay (president of Interhaz and brother of Ihor Bakay, first deputy chairman of the State Committee for Oil, Gas, and Refining), is No. 4, giving the party a tie to one of the major natural gas companies. Its list includes 98 candidates.
Rukh (Narodnyy Rukh Ukrainy)
The best-known non-communist party, it has mounted virtually a full slate--224 candidates. Headed by longtime Rukh Chairman Vyacheslav Chornovil, the list includes well-known leaders from the early days of Rukh (Ivan Drach, Volodymyr Chernyak, Yuriy Kostenko, Ihor Yukhnovskyy). The list includes the chief editor of the popular paper Kievskiye Vedomosti, Viktor Chayka, but the latter was recently expelled from Rukh after a bitter public dispute with Chornovil.
Slon (Vyborchyy Blok "SLOn-Sotsialno-Liberalne Obyednannya")
Formed by the Interregional Bloc of Reform (Mizhrehionalnyy Blok Reform--MBR) led by Volodymyr Hrynyov and the Constitutional Democrats (Konstytutsiyno-Demokratychna Partiya) led by Volodymyr Zolotaryov, it managed to nominate 62 candidates. A once promising centrist alliance, Slon has faded and appears to have a weak list and poor prospects. For example, co-chairman of Slon (with Hrynyov and Zolotaryov) Volodymyr Malynkovych in November quit and joined the Party of Regional Rebirth. Slon is committed to raising the status of the Russian language, which is one reason DemPU head Yavorivskyy said his party could not ally with Slon.
Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine (Sotsial-Demokratychna Partiya Ukrainy--SDPU)
Led by Verkhovna Rada deputy Yuriy Buzduhan, it nominated only 127 candidates, few of whom are well-known. Marchuk had originally appeared likely to run on the SDPU list but chose the SDPU (o) instead (Vseukrainskiye Vedomosti, 21 October 1997). Buzduhan called the rival SDPU (o) not a social democratic party but a "financial-petrol clan of Surkis and Medvedchuk" (Vseukrainskiye Vedomosti, 21 October 1997). Viktor Medvedchuk, head of the Lawyers Union, is No. 4 on the SDPU (o) list, and Hryhoriy Surkis, head of Kiev's Dynamo soccer club, is No. 5.
Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine (United)--see United Social- Democratic Party of Ukraine
SPU-SelPU (Vyborchyy Blok Sotsialistychnoi Partii ta Selyanskoi Partii Ukrainy "Za Pravdu, Za Narod, Za Ukrainu")
Alliance of the prominent Socialist Party (SPU) headed by Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Moroz and leftist Peasant Party (SelPU) headed by Serhiy Dovhan. It nominated a virtually full slate of 224, including prominent figures such as Economy Minister Viktor Suslov and Verkhovna Rada First Deputy Chairman Oleksandr Tkachenko.
Ukrainian National Assembly (UNA) (Ukrainska Natsionalna Asambleya)
Its ticket is led by three UNA Verkhovna Rada deputies, Oleh Vitovych, Yuriy Tyma, and Yaroslav Ilyasevych, with outspoken advocate of military reform and a Ukrainianized army Vilen Martirosyan (chairman of an organization of dissident officers) as No. 4. This strongly nationalist party has a list of only 42.
Union Party (Partiya "Soyuz")
created by Krym deputies, it appears largely regional. It nominated only 30 candidates, 19 of whom are from Krym. Strongly pro-Russian, it advocates creation of a Ukraine-Belarus-Russia union and is hostile to Ukrainian nationalists .
United Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine (Sotsial- Demokratychna Partiya Ukrainy (Obyednana)--SDPU-o)
Created by former Justice Minister Vasyl Onopenko, it nominated 185 candidates. He managed to attract two of the best-known Ukrainian politicians--former President Leonid Kravchuk and former Premier Yevhen Marchuk--to his little known party, raising it to a significant party. Although Kravchuk and Marchuk are critics and past rivals of Kuchma, the SDPU (o) includes some Kuchma regime officials, and it has been somewhat unclear whether it is really in opposition or not. However, Marchuk at the party's congress called on the party to declare itself in opposition to the government, which it did (Den, 16 December 1997). Before joining the SDPU (o), Marchuk had earlier almost joined the rival SDPU (Vseukrainskiye Vedomosti, 21 October 1997). Onopenko said he had tried to merge his SDPU (o) with SDPU, but that talks had failed (Kievskiye Vedomosti, 30 December 1997). No. 4 on the list is Lawyers Union head Viktor Medvedchuk, a non-staff adviser to Kuchma on tax policy.
Women's Initiatives (Vseukrainska Partiya "Zhinochi Initiatyvy")
Has put up a list of only 27, 22 of whom are women.
Workers Party (Vseukrainska Partiya Trudyashchykh)
is led by Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions Oleksandr Stoyan, its list is heavy with trade union officials. It nominated only 87 candidates.
Working Ukraine (Vyborchyy Blok "Trudova Ukraina")
It was formed by the Civil Congress of Ukraine (Hromadyanskyy Konhres Ukrainy) and Ukrainian Justice Party (Ukrainska Partiya Spravedlyvosti). The Civil Congress, based in Donetsk, was created in 1992 by representatives of the east and south to defend the Russian language and promote closer integration with Russia. (see Note 12) The bloc put up a slate of 117, including Kiev City Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko, Minister of Foreign Economic Ties Serhiy Osyka, and first assistant to the premier Andriy Derkach. The anti- Kuchma paper Silski Visti (29 January) asserted that Working Ukraine is filled with people "who worked or are working in the president's Administration or cabinet" and is a "'fifth column' in the veterans' movement." The list is headed by veterans (No. 1 and No. 3) and includes a total of 25 members of veterans' organizations.
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