Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc
The Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (Ukrainian: Блок Наша Україна–Народна Самооборона, Blok Nasha Ukrayina-Narodna Samooborona, NUNS; until 2007 named Our Ukraine Bloc) was an electoral alliance active in Ukraine from 2001 until 2012, associated with former President Viktor Yushchenko. Since 2005, the bloc had been dominated by a core consisting of the People's Union "Our Ukraine" party and five smaller partner parties. On 17 November 2011, the Ukrainian Parliament approved an election law that banned the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections. Since then several members of the Bloc have since merged with other parties.
|Parliamentary leader||Mykola Martynenko|
|Dissolved||15 December 2012|
|European affiliation||European People's Party
(observer only; NSNU and Rukh as separate member parties)
The Our Ukraine Bloc was most closely associated with the Orange Revolution and continued to use orange as its political colour. In July 2007, the old Our Ukraine bloc had been reorganized into the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc for the 2007 parliamentary election in September 2007.
The original Our Ukraine Bloc formed in Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine in 2001 in preparation for the 2002 parliamentary elections as the Electoral Bloc of Viktor Yushchenko "Our Ukraine". At the time of its formation Viktor Yushchenko led the bloc. Over years the alliance changed its name, becoming:
- in 2002: Bloc of Viktor Yushchenko "Our Ukraine" (BVYNU)
- in 2006: the Our Ukraine Bloc (BNU)
- in 2007: the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (BNU-NS)
Ukrainian parliamentary election, 2002Edit
At the 2002 legislative elections, won 23.6% of the popular vote and 112 out of 450 seats. It was the first time when Communists failed to take the first place in vote. Final poll results in 2002 had predicted the bloc to win 27-28% of the total votes. The alliance included the following parties:
- Top 10 members
In September 2002 the bloc was negotiating with nine pro-presidential (Kuchma) factions to form a coalition, a draft of a coalition agreement prepared by Our Ukraine faction member Yuri Kostenko and Labor Ukraine leader Serhiy Tyhypko was received by all faction leaders on 20 September 2009 (except by the leaders of the Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Communist Party and the Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko). However the coalition never materialised.
Between 2002 and 2004 the parliamentary faction of the bloc gradually lost members and by September 2005 it had 44 members (in May 2002 this number had been 119).
Ukrainian parliamentary election, 2006Edit
During the election campaign some Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc members suspected Our Ukraine to be responsible for leaflets aimed against Yulia Tymoshenko, like fake invitations to celebrate her birthday at McDonald's.
The "Our Ukraine" bloc was soundly defeated in the 2006 Ukrainian parliamentary election with only 13,95% of the recorded vote came in third place behind the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc - 22% 156 seats, and the Party of Regions -33% 175 seats. It won 81 out of 450 seats.
The alliance included the following parties:
- People's Union Our Ukraine (40)
- Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Ukraine (7)
- People's Movement of Ukraine (10)
- Christian Democratic Union (3)
- Ukrainian Republican Party Assembly (3)
- Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists (3)
- Unaffiliated members (15)
Following the elections there has been calls for Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko who was closely aligned and spokesperson for Our Ukraine during the March Parliamentary election to resign from Our Ukraine and to stand independent.
Initially the Our Ukraine Bloc intended to join the Alliance of National Unity coalition and five of its ministers where initially appointed into the Cabinet of Ministers; Justice Minister Roman Zvarych, Family and Sports Minister Yuriy Pavlenko, Emergency Situations Minister Viktor Baloha, Culture Minister Ihor Likhovyy, and Health Minister Yuriy Polyachenko. Only 30 of the 80 deputies from Our Ukraine Bloc voted for approval of this Cabinet on 10 August 2006. However Our Ukraine Bloc did not join the coalition and it wanted the Communist Party to leave the coalition before they would enter it. Meanwhile, several parties member of the Bloc announced they would go into opposition and would never join the coalition. By November 2006 the five Our Ukraine Bloc ministers where dismissed by parliament or withdrawn by Our Ukraine Bloc.
- Top 10 members
Ukrainian parliamentary election, 2007Edit
On 5 July 2007 10 parties signed up to form the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc for the 2007 parliamentary election in September 2007. The Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists refused to join the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc in August 2007 and instead did not run in the elections.
In these elections the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc came third, after the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Party of Regions. Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense bloc won 72 seats and received 14.16% of the vote, 236964 fewer votes in 2007 than the Our Ukraine bloc received in 2006, representing an overall swing of 0.20%.
The alliance included the following parties:
On 15 October 2007, despite the Party of Regions gaining the most seats of all participating political parties, Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc agreed to form a majority coalition in the new parliament of the 6th convocation. On 29 November, a coalition was signed between the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (representing 45% of the national vote). On 18 December 2007, Yulia Tymoshenko, with a margin of two votes, was elected Prime Minister.
The member parties had planned to merge into a single party in December 2007, but on 16 November 2007 People’s Self-Defense decided to end its participation in the process of forming a united party since then that process remained unclear.
Disintegration and creation of United CentreEdit
In February 2008 several prominent members resigned from the party. Viktor Baloha, Head of the President's Secretariat resigned on 15 February (to lift the issue of the correlation between the authorities as the President’s Chief of Staff and as a member of the OU-PSD presidium). Roman Bezsmertny, high ranked party official, along with people’s deputies, Mykhaylo Polyanchych, Ihor Kryl, Viktor Topolov, Oksana Bilozir and Vasyl Petevka resigned on 20 February, in a joint statement the declared that: "some of the leaders of the party play their own game, coming from personal interests and it has nothing to do with responsibility, pluralism and norms of democracy." Some of them formed United Centre who wanted to participate in the next parliamentary election independently. One of the main goals at the time was: "assisting President Viktor Yuschenko to realize its program of actions".
2008 Ukrainian political crisisEdit
On 21 October 2008 the presidium of People’s Union Our Ukraine party decided not to team up with any other party for the upcoming snap parliamentary poll and called the idea of teaming up with United Center Party "impossible". According to UNIAN the People’s Union Our Ukraine and United Centre parties will carry out a unifying congress on 17 January 2009. The People’s Democratic party may join the move.
After a coalition was formed mid-December 2008 between Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (OU-OSD), Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) and Lytvyn Bloc (LB) Yushchenko told journalists: "The fact is that the so-called coalition was formed on basis of political corruption, this coalition will be able to work only if the Communist Party will join it. Speaking about such a type of coalition, it is even more shameful." Victor Yushchenko also stated that Yulia Tymoshenko’s desire to keep the Prime Minister's job was the main motive for creating the coalition and that he wanted to expel the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc lawmakers who supported the creating of the OU-PSD, BYuT and LB coalition from the list of members of parliament. According to the President Our Ukraine decided earlier at a party confession that it was impossible to resume its coalition with BYuT. Yuschenko described this as "a positive process, a process of purification. I have long waited that our people decide on their political choice, on their place in the party. They have made their choice, and I respect it".
Viktor Yanukovych presidencyEdit
During the January 2010 presidential election some bloc members did not endorse the bloc leader Viktor Yushchenko: the Christian Democratic Union, the European Party of Ukraine, the Civil Movement "People's Self-Defense" and Forward, Ukraine! endorsed Yulia Tymoshenko.
Early in March 2010, 37 (of the 55) Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc faction members had voted for the continuation of the Second Tymoshenko Government coalition. The faction did reserve the right to negotiate a possible majority coalition with other parliamentary factions apart from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc; according to faction leader Mykola Martynenko the faction had offered to appoint its representative to the post of prime minister to prevent the concentration of power in one pair of hands and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc faction had flatly refused to surrender the post of prime minister.
On 11 March 2010 the Our Ukraine- People's Self Defense faction officially announced that it would be in opposition to the newly formed coalition. Martynenko stated the faction "did not intend 'to play under a scenario,' which proposes changes to the law on the regulations amending a procedure for the creation of the coalition".
On 12 May 2010 the parliamentary faction officially went into opposition.
The Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense faction wanted to expel its seven members who backed ratification of the 2010 Ukrainian–Russian Naval Base for Natural Gas treaty in May 2010. In October 2010 one deputy of the Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense Bloc faction joined the Lytvyn Bloc faction.
Twelve parliamentarians were expelled from the fraction in September 2011 for joining the governing coalition and/or for voting for the 2010 Ukrainian–Russian Natural Gas treaty. However, since only one of those twelve left the faction when Oleksandr Omelchenko left voluntary. Also in September, faction leader Mykola Martynenko joined the Front of Changes.
On 17 November 2011 the Ukrainian Parliament approved an election law that banned the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections. Hence the bloc could not participate in the 2012 parliamentary election. Our Ukraine and Ukrainian People's Party, Ukrainian Republican Party "Sobor" and People's Self-Defense Political Party (formally Forward, Ukraine!) have since merged with other parties. The People's Movement of Ukraine campaigned on one single party list during the 2012 parliamentary elections with (among others) former members of the Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko - the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" and the Reforms and Order Party.
The core party of the alliance, the People's Union "Our Ukraine", teamed up with the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists and with the Ukrainian People's Party in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election. Former leader of Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc Viktor Yushchenko headed this election list. In these election this combination won 1.11% of the national votes and no constituencies and thus failed to win parliamentary representation.
Bloc's electoral resultsEdit
|Parliamentary since 2002
(year links to election page)
|Presidential since 2004
(year links to election page)
|2010||Yulia Tymoshenko (endorsed by Christian Democratic Union, European Party of Ukraine, Civil Movement "People's Self-Defense" and Forward, Ukraine!.||
Results per regionEdit
- "Фракція Блоку "НАША УКРАЇНА – НАРОДНА САМООБОРОНА"". Verkhovna Rada. 23 November 2007. Archived from the original on 1 September 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- You Scratch My Back, and I’ll Scratch Yours, The Ukrainian Week (26 September 2012)
- Varfolomeyev, Oleg (30 March 2005). "Ukrainian Parliament Continues Shift Towards Yushchenko". Turkish Weekly Comment. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- Popeski, Ron (24 September 2007). "Ukraine's "Orange Revolution" duo fight disillusion". Reuters. Boston. Retrieved 2 October 2007.[dead link]
- Korshak, Stefan (27 March 2006). "Big wins for little parties in Ukraine poll". Turkish Weekly Comment. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- "Ukraine". Index of Economic Freedom 2007. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- "People's Union". European People's Party. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- Parliament passes law on parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (17 November 2011)
- "10 parties signed declaration on creating united democratic forces bloc". UNIAN. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- Ukraine's election frontrunners, BBC News (28 March 2002)
- Communist and Post-Communist Parties in Europe, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008, ISBN 3-525-36912-3 (page 391)
- They Signed Something..., Den (15 January 2002)
- Tyhypko wants majority based on five factions Archived 17 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Ukrayinska Pravda (20 September 2009)
- Yushchenko meets Tyhipko, claims majority Archived 17 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Ukrayinska Pravda (27 September 2009)
- Virtual Politics - Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World, Andrew Wilson, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-300-09545-7
Ukraine on Its Meandering Path Between East and West by Andrej Lushnycky and Mykola Riabchuk, Peter Lang, 2009, ISBN 303911607X
Ukraine at the Crossroads: Velvet Revolution or Belarusification by Olexiy Haran, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, October 2002
- Spin Doctors at elections 2006: those who worked for Yanukovych, Akhmetov, Tymoshenko, Medvedchuk… Archived 4 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine., Ukrayinska Pravda (10 May 2006)
- McDonald's Ukraine supposedly promised cheaper Bi Macs on Yulia Tymoshenko's 45th birthday Archived 9 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine., Pravda.ru (1 December 2005)
- "The Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine (2006)". Central Election Commission of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- Analysis: The Faces Of Ukraine's New Cabinet, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (8 August 2006)
- Ukraine: a government without a coalition, RIA Novosti (10 August 2006)
- Verkhovna Rada approves new Cabinet members, UNIAN (11 November 2006)
- Ukraine on its meandering path between East and West by Andrej Lushnycky and Mykola Riabchuk, Peter Lang, 2009, ISBN 3-03911-607-X (page 38)
- (in Russian) КУН не пойдет в Раду вне очереди, Kommersant (7 August 2007)
- (in Ukrainian) Конгресс Українських Націоналістів, Database DATA
- "The Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine (2007)". Central Election Commission of Ukraine. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- (in Ukrainian) Партія Християнсько-Демократичний Союз, Database DATA
- "Informational site "RAZOM"". People's Union "Our Ukraine". Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- "Party "Forward, Ukraine!"". Forward, Ukraine!. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- "Homepage". People's Movement of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 4 October 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- "Ukrainian People's Party". Ukrainian People's Party. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- "Ukrainian Republican Party Assembly". Ukrainian Republican Party Assembly. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- "CDU". Christian Democratic Union. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 November 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Ukrainian Parliament Continues Shift Towards Yushchenko". Korrespondent (in Russian). 15 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
- "Youtube". Youtube: Yulia Tymoshenko elected Prime-Minister (in Ukrainian). 18 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
- "New bloc backs Ukraine president". The Jameston Foundation. 3 August 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- Lutsenko Refuses to Join New NU-NS Party / Ukrayinska Pravda Archived 1 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- News Site RAZOM Archived 6 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- "OU lost one more member". ForUm. 27 February 2008. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008.
- UNIAN - President`s Chief of Staff stops his membership of pro-presidential party
- UNIAN - Bessmertny, Kryl, Petyovka and others – six people left Our Ukraine
- "Baloha Wrote Application on Joining "United Centre"! NSNU to Join Him?". MIGNews. 8 July 2008. Archived from the original on 20 July 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "MP Kril Of OU-PSD Admits Snap Rada Elections Postponed To 14 December". Ukrainian News Agency. 19 October 2008. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008.
- "United Centre Reelects MP Kril Of OU-PSD As Leader". Ukrainian News Agency. 12 July 2008. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008.
- "Our Ukraine officially refused to team up with United Center". UNIAN. 21 October 2008.
- "Our Ukraine Board defined the formatting of participation in elections". Our Ukraine official website. 21 October 2008.[permanent dead link]
- Our Ukraine and United Center parties to unite, UNIAN (24 December 2008)
- "Two Parties Will Create Chernovetskyi Bloc For Snap Rada Elections". Ukrainian News Agency. 23 October 2008. Archived from the original on 20 July 2009.
- Yushchenko wants to expel lawmakers who supported coalition, UNIAN (17 December 2008)
- Yuschenko Advocates Expulsion Of Our Ukraine People's Union MPs That Support Coalition Archived 21 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Ukrainian News Agency (17 December 2008)
- Yuschenko hoping Our Ukraine's MPs supporting coalition with BYT, Lytvyn Bloc will be expelled from party, faction list Archived 21 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2008)
- Christian-Democratic Union party to support Tymoshenko at presidential election, Kyiv Post (28 November 2009)
- European Party gives its support to Tymoshenko in presidential race Archived 9 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Interfax-Ukraine (4 December 2009)
- Interior Minister takes short leave, urges voters to support Tymoshenko, Kyiv Post (11 December 2009)
- OU-PSD faction leader not planning to submit signatures on coalition's existence to speaker, Kyiv Post (2 March 2010)
- Our Ukraine says it reserves right to negotiate coalition with other parliamentary factions, Kyiv Post (2 March 2010)
- Our Ukraine- People's Self Defense faction goes to opposition, Kyiv Post (11 March 2010)
- Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense goes into opposition, Kyiv Post (14 May 2010)
- Our Ukraine to exclude those members of faction who voted for the ratification of Black Sea Fleet treaty, Kyiv Post (15 May 2010)
- Seven individual MPs join Regions Party faction, Our Ukraine MP joins Lytvyn Bloc Archived 20 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- People's Self-Defense faction: Twelve parliamentarians expelled from Our Ukraine, Kyiv Post (7 September 2011)
- Omelchenko quits Yushchenko's party in parliament, Kyiv Post (4 October 2011)
- Yatsenyuk's Party Set to Become Third Force In Ukrainian Politics, The Jamestown Foundation (20 September 2011)
- (in Ukrainian) "Наша Україна" й УНП почали об’єднання з Дніпропетровська, Ukrayinska Pravda (18 December 2011)
- Tymoshenko, Lutsenko aware of their parties' unification, Kyiv Post (29 December 2011)
- (in Ukrainian) Одна з партій НУНС перейменувалася та змінила голову, Ukrayinska Pravda (3 December 2011)
- Opposition to form single list to participate in parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (2 March 2012)
- (in Ukrainian) "Наша Україна" хоче бути альтернативою усім учасникам виборів "Our Ukraine" wants to be an alternative to all election participants , BBC Ukrainian (31 July 2012)
- (in Ukrainian) Proportional votes Archived 30 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine. & Constituency seats Archived 5 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine., Central Election Commission of Ukraine
- (in Ukrainian) Депутатські фракції Archived 15 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine., Verkhovna Rada