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Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united)
Соцiал-демократична партiя України (об`єднана)
Leader Yury Zahorodny
Founded 1990
Headquarters Kiev, Ukraine
Ideology Social democracy
Political position Centrist
International affiliation None
Official colours Blue
Politics of Ukraine
Political parties

The Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) or SDPU(u) or SDPU(o) (Ukrainian: Соцiал-демократична партiя України (об`єднана); СДПУ(о)), is a Ukrainian political party.



SDPU(o) was created in 1990. Since 1998 it was led by the head of Leonid Kuchma's presidential administration Viktor Medvedchuk, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk and by Ukrainian tycoon Hryhoriy Surkis. During the presidential term of Leonid Kuchma the party portrayed itself as a centrist, social-democratic moderate political force that advocated integration with Europe and supported the president. Its traditional stronghold is Trans-Carpathian Ukraine; the party was closely linked to presidential administration and big business. During 2002 parliamentary elections SDPU(o) won 6.2% of the national vote.

SDPU(o) opposed Viktor Yushchenko's coalition of liberal and nationalist movements and in March 2002 it blamed nationalist elements linked to the pro-Yushchenko "Our Ukraine" alliance for the murder of the vice-governor of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, who was an SDPU(o) member.

During the Ukrainian presidential election, 2004 SDPU(o) also took a strongly pro-Russian and anti-Western stand and backed the candidacy of Viktor Yanukovych. In the aftermath of Viktor Yushchenko's "Orange Revolution", SDPU(o) declared itself to be in opposition to the new government. Analysts say that TV channels and other media controlled by the party (Inter, 1+1, TET)[1][2] have started a sharp anti-U.S./anti-NATO campaign in response to Yuschenko's pro-Western policies.

Ivan Rizak, the head of the Trans-Carpathian SDPUo branch and governor of the Trans-Carpathian Oblast, was arrested in May 2005 and charged with abuse of public office and driving a pro-opposition university rector to suicide last year. That same month, the party was accused of involvement in the 2000 murder of Georgiy R. Gongadze, with the journal Ukrayina moloda (April 14, 2005) accusing party members of using the dead journalist's corpse in a plot to discredit President Leonid Kuchma and force early elections, which could have led to party leader Medvedchuk succeeding Kuchma.

SDPU(o) claims this to be a part of the political campaign of persecution from the new authorities. Supporters of the "Orange Revolution" on the other hand claim that the party enjoyed privileged status under the old regime and was closely associated with big business, organized crime, corruption, and media bias in favour of Leonid Kuchma, then President of Ukraine.

Despite being one of the most active political parties with a wide range of political activities and a significant number of student and youth members, SDPU tend to lose a significant amount of votes due to the notoriety of its leaders for their business and political practices.

Before the 2006 parliamentary election, some commentators regarded SDPU(u) as one of three hard-line anti-Yuschenko forces (the others being the Party of Regions and the Communist Party)[3]. At the legislative elections of 26 March 2006, the party was part of the Opposition Bloc "Ne Tak" and failed to clear the 3% minimum to get into parliament. It is has thus disappeared from the national political stage. Currently the party is working on draft Concepts who will determine its future.[4] The current leader is Yury Zahorodny.[5]

The party will participate in the 2010 presidential election as part of the Election bloc of left and central left political forces.[6]. This decision made ex-President of Ukraine Kravchuk leave the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united), Kravchuk declared he also was indignant due to the fact that the political council of the party decided to accomplish that behind the closed doors in non-democratic order. He called the block as the artificial union without any perspectives.[7][8].


  1. ^ Virtual Politics - Faking Democraty in the Post-Soviet World, Andrew Wilson, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-300-09545-7
  3. ^
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ Bloc of left and center-left forces to nominate CPU Leader for Ukraine's president, Interfax-Ukraine (October 3, 2009)
  7. ^ Kravchuk left SDP(u) (Ukrainian)
  8. ^ Kravchuk leaves Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united), Interfax-Ukraine (September 25, 2009)

See also

External links



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