Self Reliance (political party)
Union "Self Reliance" or "Self Help" (Ukrainian: Об'єднання «Самопоміч»; Ob'yednannya «Samopomich») is a political party in Ukraine. It is led by the incumbent mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi. It was founded on 29 December 2012, and identifies with the ideology of "Christian morality and common sense." The name of the party is similar to the name of the NGO, founded by Sadovyi in 2004. The party won 33 seats in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election.
|Founded||29 December 2012|
|Slogan||In unity there is power|
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The name and ideology of the party is referring to the history of Ukrainian cooperative movement, which started in Western Ukraine in the beginning of 20th century. The financial societies that appeared prior to World War I in Galicia were formed as a part of Ukrainian national movement. The idea to start Ukrainian national financial cooperation societies belonged to Dr. Yevhen Olesnytskyi, lawyer, the head of Stryi's Prosvita movement and member of the Austro-Hungarian Parliament. He started to organise seminars for like-minded people, who supported the idea of solving economic problems before resolving political issues. The fight against poverty and backwardness was the main goal of the organisation, which quickly acquired popularity. T he local Prosvita activists supported the call for action, and already in 1904 Ostap Nyzhankivskyi, composer and priest from the village Zavadiv near Stryi, founded first cooperative of milk producers.
The idea proved to be popular among Ukrainian peasants, and in 1914 the Union of Milk Cooperatives united more than 100 unions under the leadership of Ostap Nyzhankivskyi. Soon the Union started to issue its own newspaper, which received the name 'Samopomich'. The WWI and the following Polish-Ukrainian war interrupted the movement, as its activists devoted themselves to the work for the West Ukrainian People's Republic. The leader of the movement, Ostap Nyzhankivskyi, became the district commissar of Stryi and died in the battle for the city on 13 May 1919.
The cooperative activism reemerged after the WWI. The officers of the Ukrainian Galician Army who had emigrated to Czechoslovakia and Denmark, returned to Ukraine and brought there the experience of European cooperative movement. Until late 1930s, the new cooperative 'Ukrainian Milk Society 'Maslosoyiuz' united up to 500,000 farms, and became an important player in the European agriculture market.
The practice of cooperation spread to other spheres of life: Galician Ukrainians founded their own bank (bank 'Dnister'), trade network (shops of 'Maslosoyiuz' and 'People's Trade'), supervision bodies (Revision Union of Ukrainian Cooperatives), insurance companies, educational system, etc. Such organisations, as Sokil, Plast, Sport Society 'Ukraine' popularised healthy lifestyle, the Taras Shevchenko Academic Society united scientists and intellectuals. The World War II and Soviet repressions brought an end to the civic activity on the territory of Ukraine.
History prior to taking part in electionsEdit
The contemporary history of the political party Self Reliance started in 2004, with the creation of an NGO called "Self Reliance". Andriy Sadovyi, who was the director another NGO - Institute of the City Development - initiated the foundation of an organisation, which would derive from the history and traditions of the Ukrainian cooperation movement. Thus, the Civic Organisation "Self Reliance" was established on 4 November 2004. The main activities of the organisation were: promoting legal literacy among the citizens, promoting healthy lifestyle, organisation of the volunteer movement and establishing local cooperation entities.
In 2006 Andriy Sadovyi was elected the mayor of Lviv. He relied on the Self Reliance team in creating the development strategy for the city of Lviv. In 2010 Sadovyi was reelected for the office of mayor.
On 14 October 2012 Sadovyi began the formation of the Self Reliance political party. The party united the legacy of Ukrainian cooperative movement and Christian-democratic ideology. Self Reliance was registered as a political party on 29 December 2012. In 2013, Self Reliance had its first constituent assembly in the Building of Pedagogical Museum in Kyiv. The party started to form local representation units and develop ideological approach.
In November, 2013 started the Euromaidan protests, in which Self Reliance activists have actively participated.
Kyiv City Council electionsEdit
Self Reliance participated in the 25 May 2014 elections to the Kiev City Council. The party asked the citizens to propose candidates for the election, and assigned the position in the party list according to the preferences of the public. In that election, the party received 7.4% of votes and won five seats in the Council.
2014 Parliamentary elections and parliamentary factionEdit
On 28 February 2014, the party's leader Andriy Sadovyi, said that Self Reliance would take part in the snap parliamentary elections scheduled for October 2014. However, in the Ukrainian parliamentary election Hanna Hopko headed the party list, followed by Donbas Battalion commander Semen Semenchenko, while Sadovyi obtained the 50th place. The party campaigned for local self-organisation and decentralisation. The party finished third in the election.
It was the only party which did not have any former parliamentarians on its election list but rather people from community NGOs and medium-sized businesses. Candidates of Volia were included in the election list of Self Reliance. Its parliamentary faction received 33 mandates including one won at constituency elections. The faction includes experts-activists out of the Reanimating Package of Reforms (a public initiative), military personnel and business representatives (mostly IT-related). By party affiliation, the faction consists mostly out of unaffiliated deputies, while there is one deputy of the Ukrainian People's Party and only three members of the Self Reliance party.
The top 10 members of parliament included 1. Hanna Hopko, 2. Semen Semenchenko, 3. Oleksiy Skrypnyk, 4. Oksana Syroyid, 5. Viktor Kryvenko, 6. Iryna Suslova, 7. Pavlo Kyshkar, 8. Alyona Babak, 9. Nataliya Veselova, 10. Oleksandr Danchenko.
Following the elections the party became a member of the coalition supporting the current second Yatsenyuk Government and it had one minister in this government, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Oleksiy Pavlenko.
Hopko and Kryvenko were expelled from Self Reliance on 31 August 2015 for violating faction discipline, as they supported the amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution that would lead to decentralization and greater powers for the pro-Russian separatists on the territory they occupied during the War in Donbass. By late October 2015, the Self Reliance faction in the Rada had shrunk from 33 seats to 26 seats.
The party did not do particularly well in the 2015 Ukrainian local elections (winning approximately 10% of the votes); but its candidate Oleksandr Senkevych was elected Mayor of Mykolayiv in the elections.
On 17 February 2016, after a supported by the party but failed motion of no confidence against the government, Self Reliance issued an official statement on its Facebook page in which it argued "A cynical coup has occurred in Ukraine, with the help of the president, the prime minister, the kleptocratic part of the coalition, and the oligarch bloc" that led to the second Yatsenyuk government being an "illegitimate government". The next day Self Reliance left the coalition.
From Autumn 2015 until June 2016 party members were engaged in talks on an attempt to form a political party around then Governor of Odessa Oblast Mikheil Saakashvili with members of the parliamentary group Interfactional Union "Eurooptimists", Democratic Alliance and possibly Self Reliance until this projection collapsed in June 2016.
According to party leader Andriy Sadovyi, Self Reliance shares the liberal conservatism ideology of Margaret Thatcher, but Timofey Milovanov of the University of Pittsburgh disagrees, claiming,[nb 1] "They have no ideology. Some of their laws are conservative, some are populist, and some are liberal".
|Year||Popular vote||% of popular vote||Overall seats won||Seat change||Government|
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