Party of Regions: Wikis


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Party of Regions
Партія регіонів
Leader Oleksandr Yefremov[1]
Founded October 26, 1997 (1997-10-26)
Headquarters Kiev, Ukraine
Ideology Centrism,
International affiliation None
Official colours Blue
Politics of Ukraine
Political parties

The Party of Regions (Ukrainian: Партія регіонів, pronounced [ˈpɑrtijɑ rɛɦiˈɔniu̯]; Russian: Партия регионов) is a Ukrainian political party created on October 26, 1997 just prior to the 1998 Ukrainian parliamentary elections under a name of Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine (PRRU). It was reformed later in 2001 when the party united with several others. According to the party’s leadership in 2002, from the creation of the party to the end of 2001 the number of members jumped from 30,000 to 500,000.[2] The party ideologically defends and upholds the rights of ethnic Russians and speakers of the Russian language in Ukraine.

It originally supported president Leonid Kuchma and joined the pro-government United Ukraine alliance during the parliamentary elections on 30 March 2002. The party's leader is the former Acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. The areas the Party of Regions does well in are mostly parts of historic Novorossiya. Its electoral and financial base is located primarily in the east and south-east of Ukraine, where it enjoys wide popular support. In the Eastern Ukrainian Donetsk Oblast the party claims to have over 700,000 members.

US-American consultant Paul J. Manafort has advised the party and its former leader Yanukovych since 2005.[3][4]

The party signed a collaboration agreement in 2005 with Russia's "United Russia".[5]





The Party of Regions was created in March 2001 from the unification of five parties.[6]. On July 18, 2000, leaders of five political parties, inspired by Petro Poroshenko, chairman of Solidarity, announced their willingness to join their parties into a single entity. On November 18, 2000, five political entities: the Party of Regional Renaissance of Ukraine, Solidarity, the Party of Labor, the Party for the Beautiful Ukraine and the National Party of Pensioners, merged into the new structure and three co-chairmen wher elected: Volodymyr Rybak of the Party of Regional Renaissance of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko and Valentyn Landyk, chairman of the Party of Labor. It was joined by a number of others, among them (the future Mayor of Kiev) Leonid Chernovetsky and Mykola Azarov, a long-standing ally of then President Leonid Kuchma, who was elected leader of the party in March 2001 but resigned in December (2001).[6], his successor was Vice Prime Minister Volodymyr Semynozhenko.[7] In December 2001 the Party of the Regions member Igor Yushchko was appointed Minister of Finance of Ukraine.[7]

Regions of Ukraine was the parliamentary wing of the Party of Regions, it was created at the end of March 2001[7] after several deputies defected from their original faction. Critics claimed the deputies were "lured away" from those other factions by pressure and analysts claimed most of them had nothing to do with the new party.[8] Nine out of seventeen members of the faction had their political and business roots in the Donetsk region[7]. On March 20, 2001 Solidarity announced it would "be as a single bloc".[8]


During the Ukrainian parliamentary election the party was a member of the For United Ukraine electoral bloc.[9] It was then lead by Volodymyr Semynozhenko.[10]

From November 21, 2002 until December 7, 2004, Viktor Yanukovych was Prime Minister.


At a congress held on April 19, 2003 Viktor Yanukovych was elected party leader, succeeding Volodymyr Semynozhenko.[11]


The party shifted its political ideology to the left and became much more populist in nature before the Ukrainian presidential election, 2004 and, as a result, Yanukovych won over a large part of the Communist party's electorate in eastern Ukraine. The party announced support for making Russian a second official language in Ukraine, a pro-Russian foreign policy, and increased social spending. It also advocates the regionalist ideology, and many members support making Ukraine a federation.

The Party of Regions moved to opposition after its candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, lost the 2004 presidential election. The party leader first claimed an electoral victory but strong allegations of electoral fraud triggered a series of events commonly known as the Orange Revolution. In the re-run of the presidential election ordered by the country's Supreme Court, Viktor Yanukovych lost the election to Viktor Yushchenko.

The Party claimed to be a victim of a political persecution campaign organized by the new government. Also because Borys Kolesnykov, the head of the regional party branch and the Donetsk regional council, was arrested in April 2005 and charged with criminal extortion.[12] The Party of Regions claims this is an act of political repression, while the authorities believe that Kolesnykov had links to organized crime and his arrest is a purely criminal matter. The Council of Europe called the investigation "in full compliance with European standards".[13] Kolesnykov has since been cleared of charges and released from pre-trial detention.[14]


Map showing the results of POR the percentage of total national vote) per region for the 2006 parliamentary election.

2006 Parliamentary Election results

At the parliamentary elections on 26 March 2006, the party gained 32,12% of votes and 186 (out of 450) seats in the Verkhovna Rada(the Ukrainian Parliament), forming the largest parliamentary group. On July 6, 2006, the Socialist Party abandoned the "Orange Coalition" between Our Ukraine, and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc following the failure of each bloc to reach agreement on on the formation of a governing coalition.

On July 10, 2006 A new parliamentary majority titled the "anti-crisis coalition", led by the Party of Regions and including the Socialist Party of Ukraine and the Communist Party was formed nominating Viktor Yanukovych to the post of prime minister.

The coalition remained in office until the special parliamentary elections held in September 2007

At the Crimean parliamentary election, 2006 the party was part of the For Yanukovych! election bloc.[15]


On January 19, 2007, Yevhen Kushnaryov, a member of Party of Regions' died in Izium as a result of an accidental gunshot wound received while hunting.

In mid-2007, the Ukrainian Republican Party and Labour Ukraine merged into the Party of Regions.[16]

Map showing the results of the Party of Regions (percentage of total national vote) per region for the 2007 parliamentary election.

2007 Parliamentary Election results

At the parliamentary elections held on 30 September 2007, the party won 175 seats (losing 11 seats) out of 450 seats with 34.37% of the total national vote. The party received the highest number of votes with a swing of +2.23% in comparison to the 2006 vote.

Following the formation of a governing coalition between Our Ukraine and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the election of Yulia Tymoshenko as prime-minister on December 18, 2007 the Party of Regions formed the parliamentary opposition.

Results of the parliamentary elections:
Political alignment 2007
Vote percentage 2006 to 2007 (Top Six parties)
Swing 2006 to 2007 (Top Six parties)
Swing 2006 to 2007 (Percentage by electoral regions)


On March 13, 2009 Victor Yanukovych said the Party of Regions is ready to unite into a coalition with arch rivals[17][18] Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, he noted that: "We are ready to unite but only on the base of the program on struggle with crisis".[19] The previous day the deputy leader of Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko faction, Andriy Portnov, said that the union of his political force with the Party of Regions is highly improbable but that the union of the BYuT and the Party of Regions could be possible after the next Ukrainian presidential elections.[20] Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has said (March 17, 2009) that her bloc is ready to join efforts with the Regions Party to pass certain bills in the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada). "You are a representative of the Regions Party, [and] I represent the BYuT. It's time to join efforts for the benefit of the country," Tymoshenko said. [21] On March 30, 2009 Victor Yanukovych stated he does not believe in the possibility of forming a coalition with Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc in the current parliament. At the same time he added that “it would be necessary to agree on main issues” concerning amendments into the Constitution of Ukraine in the part of local self-government reform, judicial reform and clear division of authorities among President, government and parliament.[22] According to Yanukovych talks with BYuT where still ongoing late May 2008.[23]

Early june talks to build a broad coalition to address the economic crisis collapsed, Yulia Tymoshenko accused Yanukovich of betrayal: “He unilaterally, without warning anyone, quit the negotiation process, making a loud political statement, killing the merger and the chances for Ukraine”.[24]

In September 2009 Member of Parliament Vasyl Kiselev was expelled from the party and the political council of the Party of Regions. Kiselev was expelled “for violation of provisions and demands of the charter of the Party of Regions and harming the reputation of the party”[25].


Ukrainian presidential election, 2010

The Party of Regions endorsed Viktor Yanukoych as their candidate for the 2010 presidential election.[26] Yanukoych was the runner up candidate against Viktor Yushchenko in the Ukrainian presidential election, 2004. The party indented to create a new coalition in the Verkhovna Rada and form a new government if Yanukovych would win the 2010 presidential elections.[27] Yanukovych was elected President of Ukraine on February 7, 2010.[28][29]

Public opinion polls had consistently rated Party of Regions and Viktor Yanukovych (26% to 28%) as the highest polling party/Candidate in Ukraine with most analysts predicting Yanukovych will win the 2010 Presidential election. The next highest polling candidate was Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (14% to 26%). Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine's former President, was polled between 2.2% to 3.5%. Polls indicated that Victor Yanukoych would face off in a second round ballot against Yulia Tymoshenko.

Conducted by

Candidate Party

2004 Presidential election FOM - Ukraine FOM - Ukraine Razumkov Centre USS SOCIS Institute of social and political psychology Razumkov Centre Research & Branding Group KMIS FOM - Ukraine FOM - Ukraine Research & Branding Group Ukrainian Project System SOCIS Research & Branding Group SOCIS FOM - Ukraine
Date from 31-Oct-04 14-Dec-07 25-Jan-08 31-Jan-08 16-Apr-08 30-Aug-08 24-Nov-08 17-Dec-08 1-Apr-09 03-Apr-09 13-Apr-09 17-May-09 12-Jun-09 21-Jul-09 24-Jul-09 4-Aug-09 20-Sep-09 26-Sep-09
Date to 26-Dec-04 23-Dec-07 02-Feb-08 05-Feb-08 04-May-08 08-Sep-08 30-Nov-08 24-Dec-08 9-Apr-09 12-Apr-09 25-Apr-09 26-May-09 22-Jun-09 20-Jul-09 04-Aug-09 14-Aug-09 01-Oct-09 04-Oct-09
Reference * [30] [31] ** [32] ** [33] [34] [35] ** [36] [37] [38] [39] ** [40] [41] ** [42] ** [43] ** [44]
Viktor Yanukovych PoR 39.3 44.2 24.4 20.0 22.8 27.0 41.0 25.1 34.6 20.7 19.8 27.9 38.4 25.6 21.9 26.6 26.8 38.8 24.0 25.0 26.1 26.0 39.6 28.7 40.3 26.8
Respondents 2000 2010 2040 2000 2017 2078 1984 1000 1000 2079 2511 2000 3011 5009 1000
Margin for error 2.2% 2.2% 2.0% 2.3% ± 2.2% ≤ 4.0% ≤ 4.0% ± 2.2% 2.0% 2.8% ± 2.2% ± 1.5% 4%

On February 19 the Ukrainian parliament terminated the powers of Ukrainian Member of Parliament (MP) Yanukovych, in his place #179th on the electoral list of the Party of Regions at the 2007 early parliamentary elections Tamara Yehorenko was registered as an MP by the Central Election Commission of Ukraine on February 26.[45]

On March 3 Ukrainian President Yanukovych has suspended his membership in the Party and handed over leadership in the party and in the parliamentary faction to Mykola Azarov[11], 9 days later Azarov handed it to Oleksandr Yefremov.

On March 11, 2010 together with Bloc Lytvyn and Communist Party of Ukraine the party joined the first Azarov Government[46]

Selected members

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Whose Ukraine Is It Anyway?, TIME Magazine/Transitions online, April 4, 2002
  3. ^ Paid advisers descend on candidates, nation, Kyiv Post (November 19, 2009)
  4. ^ Spin Doctors at elections 2006: those who worked for Yanukovych, Akhmetov, Tymoshenko, Medvedchuk…, Ukrayinska Pravda (May 10, 2006)
  5. ^ Party of Regions hopes for strengthening collaboration with 'United Russia' party, Kyiv Post (November 22, 2009)
  6. ^ a b Ukraine Political Parties,
  7. ^ a b c d 2001 Political sketches: too early for summing up, Central European University (January 4, 2002)
  8. ^ a b New «region» formed in Ukrainian Parliament, Central European University (March 26, 2001)
  9. ^ "parties of the "Za Yedynu Ukrayinu" bloc" (in Ukrainian). Za Yediny Ukrayinu!. 2002-11-24. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  10. ^ "Leaders of the "Za Yedynu Ukrayinu" bloc" (in Ukrainian). Za Yediny Ukrayinu!. 2002-11-24. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  11. ^ a b Yanukovych suspends his membership in Party of Regions, hands over party leadership to Azarov, Kyiv Post (March 3, 2010)
  12. ^ Lutsenko suggests Regions Party to deal with Piskun, who sanctioned proceedings against Kolesnykov, Kyiv Post (March 3, 2009)
  13. ^ Countries at the crossroads: a survey of democratic governance by Sanja Tatic & Christopher Walker, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006, ISBN-10: 0742558010/ISBN-13: 978-0742558014 (page 580)
  14. ^ Yanukovych’s inner circle, Kyiv Post (January 24, 2010)
  15. ^ (Russian) [2], Росбалт.RU (06/10/2009)
  16. ^ [3][[ITAR-TASS ]]
  17. ^ "Aliens took Tymoshenko on their flying saucer?". UNIAN. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2008. 
  18. ^ "Regions Party ready to form coalition 'to save country'". Interfax Ukraine. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2008. 
  19. ^ "Party of Regions is ready to unite with BYUT– Yanukovych". 13 March 2008. 
  20. ^ BYT says union Party of Regions highly improbable, Interfax-Ukraine (13 March 2008)
  21. ^ BYT ready to join efforts with Regions Party to pass law on aviation development, says Tymoshenko, Interfax-Ukraine (17 March 2008)
  22. ^ Yanukovych does not believe in coalition with BYUT, UNIAN (March 30, 2009)
  23. ^ Party of Regions holding talks with BYuT – Yanukovych, UNIAN (May 25, 2009)
  24. ^ Ukraine Premier Fails to Form Alliance to Oppose President, The New York Times (June 8, 2009)
  25. ^ Lawmaker Kiselev expelled from Party of Regions , {{UNIAN]] (September 16, 2009)
  26. ^ "Party Of Regions Nominates Yanukovych As Its Presidential Candidate". 2009-10-23. 
  27. ^ Regions Party aiming for posts of president and premier, Kyiv Post (November 26, 2009)
  28. ^ Ukraine: Tymoshenko vows to contest election result, BBC News (February 15, 2010)
  29. ^ Yanukovych has yet to secure ruling majority in parliament, Kyiv Post (February 25, 2010)
  30. ^ 24.4% of Ukrainians ready to support Yanukovych at presidential election, UNIAN (December 27, 2007)
  31. ^ Опрос: наилучшие шансы стать президентом - у Тимошенко и Януковича /
  32. ^ Press release on the results sociological research — September 2008 SOCIS
  33. ^ (Ukrainian)Фонд громадської думки Президентський рейтинг Тимошенко впав, (December 24, 2008)
  34. ^ (Ukrainian)Думка громадян України про підсумки 2008 р. (опитування), Razumkov Centre (December 26, 2008)
  35. ^ Poll: “CHANGE OF ELECTORAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE - April 2009”, Research & Branding Group (April, 2009)
  36. ^ Poll: Yanukovych, Tymoshenko, Yatseniuk have best chances to be elected president - April 18, 2009”, KMIS (April, 2009)
  37. ^ Українці готові зробити Януковича президентом. 15% голосуватимуть "проти всіх"
  38. ^ Yanukovych tops list of presidential candidates in Ukraine – poll, UNIAN (June 2, 2009)
  39. ^ Poll: “CHANGE OF ELECTORAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE - June 2009”, Research & Branding Group (June, 2009)
  40. ^ Poll: Yanukovych, Tymoshenko still top presidential ratings, Interfax-Ukraine (August 4, 2009)
  41. ^ Socis Poll: 25% Of Ukrainians Prepared To Support Yanukovych For President, 20.5% To Vote For Tymoshenko, Ukrainian News (August 17, 2009)
  42. ^ Poll: “CHANGE OF ELECTORAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE - August 2009”, Research & Branding Group (August, 2009)
  43. ^ Socis Poll: President of Ukraine candidates rating. 100 days before elections, SOCIS (October 8, 2009)
  44. ^ Yanukovych leads polls as a candidate for presidency, ForUm (October 13, 2009)
  45. ^ CEC registers new MP from Regions Party to replace Yanukovych, Kyiv Post (February 25, 2010)
  46. ^ Ukrainian parliament creates new coalition, Kyiv Post (March 11, 2010)

External links


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