What has been the pattern of political party development in Ukraine over the last 10 years and how have these parties performed in recent elections. We need to understand better who the main political parties have been over recent years, how they have changed, amalgamated and disbanded; who their leadership has been; their sources of finance; their performance in elections; which of them have formed alliances across party lines; who their membership is and particularly where this is drawn from regionally/urban/rural etc. within the country.
Political parties in Ukraine were first formed only in 1990, initially as formations based largely on former dissident groups with national-democratic orientation and the tendency to frequently split into separate parties. By the mid-1990s various regional financial industrial groups became involved in forming centrist parties to further their interests. All parties in Ukraine remain highly underdeveloped. Despite some seeming stabilisation of the main parties after the ‘orange revolution’ of 2004, the ‘Euromaidan revolution’ of 2013-14 and the departure of President Yanukovych from the political scene has prompted a thoroughgoing restructuring of the party space. The main competitors in the pre-term parliamentary elections due to take place in October 2014 now include a large number of new configurations and recently-formed electoral alliances. Nevertheless, despite the presence of new faces on parties’ electoral lists, the key players remain established politicians who are attempting to prove their ‘revitalisation’ by including Euromaidan civil society activists and officers from the Donbas conflict.
Whitmore, S. Political party development in Ukraine (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1146). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2014) 13 pp.