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The Socialist Party of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Соціалістична Партія України, Sotsialistychna Partiya Ukrainy, SPU) is a social-democratic[3] political party in Ukraine. It is one of the oldest parties and was created by the former members of the Soviet-era Communist Party of Ukraine in late 1991 when the Communist Party was banned.[4] It was part of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) from 1994 to 2007 and was long the fourth biggest party of Ukraine.[5] Since 2007, the election results of the party have been extremely marginal.[5] Oleksandr Moroz led the party for more than twenty years.[6][7][8]

Socialist Party of Ukraine

Соціалістична партія України
Founded26 October 1991 (1991-10-26)
Preceded byCommunist Party of Ukraine (Soviet Union)
IdeologySocial democracy[1]
Democratic socialism[1]
Soft Euroscepticism
Political positionCentre-left
International affiliationSocialist International (2003–2011)
Colours     Dark red
Verkhovna Rada
0 / 450
Regions (2010)
34 / 3,056



First logo of the SPU

After Ukraine gained independence on 24 August 1991,[9] Leonid Kravchuk as the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) signed several important documents among which was the disbandment (26 August) and later the prohibition (30 August) of communist parties.[4] This led to the collapse of the communist majority faction, informally known as the "group of 239".[4][10] Four days after the prohibition of communist parties, Oleksandr Moroz, the former leader of Group 239, called on communists to unite in a new left-wing party.[4] In September in several major cities (particularly in Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv) local subsidiaries of the new party where founded.[4] The founding congress of the party was held in Kiev on 26 October 1991 and the first leader of the party became Moroz.[4] The Socialist Party was registered at the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice on 25 November 1991 under registration number 157.[11]

On 19 June 1993, a constituent congress of the recreated Communist Party of Ukraine took place in Donetsk that proclaimed itself a direct inheritor of the Communist Party of Ukraine. After the recreation of the Communists a substantial number of the former Communist Party of Ukraine members left the Socialist Party. The Communist Party, however, finally registered in October 1993. In December 1993 the Socialists proclaimed to be in the opposition to the government of Leonid Kuchma and the President Leonid Kravchuk.[5] In the 1994 presidential election, the Socialists leader Moroz was supported by both his party and the Communist Party. The Socialist party became known for its support in the central regions of Ukraine in the 1990s and 2000s.

1994 parliamentary electionEdit

In the rounds of the 1994 parliamentary election, the party won 14 seats.[12] In May 1994, Moroz became Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (speaker of parliament).[5] By mid-1994, the party controlled a parliamentary faction of 25 deputies.[13] In October 1995, some members headed by Nataliya Vitrenko split to form (in April 1996) the new Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine.[4]

1998 parliamentary electionEdit

The party stood for election in 1998 in the Socialist Party – Peasant Party electoral bloc with the Peasant Party of Ukraine.[11] Attempts to form a coalition with the Communist Party had failed.[4] The block was named Left Center won 8,55% of the votes and 29 proportional seats and 5 individual seats out of 450 seats in the Verkhovna Rada.[4] The bloc gained the post Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (speaker of parliament) with the election of Oleksandr Tkachenko on this post.[5] The Peasant Party of Ukraine started its own parliamentary faction (containing 15 deputies) in the autumn of 1998 but in the spring of 2000 this factions was disbanded for lack of member.[14][15] After the creation of the new parliamentary faction Solidarity in the spring of 2000 a lot of deputies of Peasant Party moved to this new faction.[16] In June 2002, the Left Center faction had 17 members.[14]

After the election, a group of former SPU members led by Ivan Chizh who were in opposition to Moroz founded the Justice Party in 2000.[4][17]

2002 parliamentary electionEdit

The party was heavenly involved in the Ukraine without Kuchma campaign.[5]

At the parliamentary election on 30 March 2002, the party won 6.9% of the popular vote, and 24 out of 450 seats in the Verkhovna Rada. The party had limited access to media in the campaign.[18] The youth wing of the party had left it and had endorsed Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) in the election.[5]

In late 2002, Moroz, Viktor Yushchenko (Our Ukraine), Petro Symonenko (Communist Party of Ukraine) and Yulia Tymoshenko (Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc) issued a joint statement concerning "the beginning of a state revolution in Ukraine". The communists stepped out of the alliance, Symonenko was against a single candidate from the alliance in the Ukrainian presidential election 2004, but the other three party's remained allies[19] (until July 2006).[20] The Socialists were active participants in the Orange Revolution.[5] The party was a coalition member in the First Tymoshenko Government and the Yekhanurov Government.[5]

In 2005, the party was joined by the Ukrainian Party of Justice - Union of veterans, handicapped, Chornobyl liquidators, and Afghan warriors (former Ukrainian Party of Justice).

2006 parliamentary electionEdit

A map showing the results of the SPU (percentage of total national vote) per region for the 2006 parliamentary elections

The Socialist Party received 5.67% of the national vote during the parliamentary election held on 26 March 2006, securing 33 seats in Parliament.[5]

The Socialist Party of Ukraine was expected to form a governing coalition with Yulia Tymoshenko and Our Ukraine.[5] However, after 3 months of negotiation agreement could not be finalized with Our Ukraine challenging Moroz's appointment as Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (chairman of parliament).[5] The Socialist Party then agreed to the formation of an "Anti Crisis" coalition with Party of Regions and the Communist Party following the election of Oleksandr Moroz as Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada in July 2006.[5] The newly formed governing coalition elected Viktor Yanukovych as Prime minister of Ukraine and was later renamed the Alliance of National Unity.[5] Several high up members left the party because of it becoming a partner in the new coalition, influential former member Yuriy Lutsenko created People's Self-Defense.[5] President of Ukraine Yushchenko dissolved parliament on 2 April 2007 because he believed the government was acting illegally during the 2007 Ukrainian political crisis.[21][nb 1]

2007 parliamentary electionEdit

A map showing the results of the SPU (percentage of total national vote) per region for the 2007 parliamentary elections

In the 2007 parliamentary election, the party's vote share collapsed.[5] The Socialist Party of Ukraine failed to secure parliamentary representation, having received 2.86% of the total national vote (0.14% short of the required minimum 3% representation threshold). This led to more high-ranking members leaving the party and the creation of the offspring Union of Leftists.[5]

After having led the party for 20 years, Oleksander Moroz in July 2010 was succeeded by Vasyl Tsushko.[7] However, Moroz was again elected as party leader in August 2011.[8]

2012 parliamentary electionEdit

A March 2010 poll predicted that the party would get 0.2% of the vote at the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[23] In the 2010 local elections, the parties electoral misfortunes continued, winning few votes and securing little to no representatives in regional parliaments across Ukraine (winning representatives in 11 Ukrainian Oblasts parliaments in total), except in the Chernihiv Oblast and Poltava Oblast where they won 11% and 5,8% of the votes.[24]

In July 2011, the party was expelled from the Socialist International.[25] In April 2012, Petro Ustenko was elected leader of the party, replacing Oleksander Moroz.[6] In December 2011, the Peasant Party of Ukraine and 4 other small parties merged with the party (Socialist Ukraine, Children of War, Children of War of the People's Party of Ukraine, Cossack Glory).[26] Plans to merge 11 parties including the Socialist Party of Ukraine into United Left and Peasants where stopped by the parties council.[27] On 28 January 2012, the merger with the Peasant Party of Ukraine was declared illegal by the Justice Ministry.[28] In the election the party won 0.46% of the national votes and no constituencies (it had competed in 58 constituencies)[29] and thus failed to win parliamentary representation.[30]

2014 parliamentary elections followed by a leadership crisisEdit

Party logo in 2015

The party did not participate in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[31]

In 2017 Serhiy Kaplin, at the time a member of the Ukrainian parliamentary faction of Petro Poroshenko Bloc, claimed to be the party's chairman.[32] Kaplin intended to take the party to elections with Party of Pensioners of Ukraine under the label "For ordinary people".[32] But Illia Kyva [uk; ru] also claimed to headed the Socialist Party of Ukraine.[33] In January 2018, during a "joint meeting of the political council and the central control commission of the Socialist Party of Ukraine" Kyva was expelled from the party.[33] Kyva stated this exclusion was illegitimate.[33] According to the official registration of the party Illia Kyva is the chairman of the Socialist Party.[33][34] Kyva left the party in June 2019 to join Opposition Platform — For life.[35]

Socialist Party in presidential electionsEdit

The party's candidate for the 1999 presidential election, Oleksander Moroz, came third, with 11.3% of the vote in the first round. Oleksander Moroz also participated in the 2004 presidential election's first-round ballot where he again came in third place, receiving 5.82% of the vote, and subsequently endorsed Viktor Yuschenko in the final run-off ballots.

2010 Ukrainian presidential electionEdit

The Socialist Party chose Oleksandr Moroz as their presidential candidate for the next presidential election, scheduled to be held on 17 January 2010. 268 out of 422 party congress delegates registered supported the Moroz's nomination.[36]

Opinion pollsEdit

Public opinion polls have not rated the Socialist Party of Ukraine or its leader Olexandr Moroz as they were undecided as to their participation in the Ukrainian presidential election. In 2005, Moroz received 5.8% of the national vote. An opinion poll conducted by FOM-Ukraine in April 2009 showed Moroz with less than 1% support, with most analysts considering Moroz not a serious contender as he would not win sufficient votes in the first-round presidential ballot, scheduled for 17 January 2010.

Election resultsEdit

Verkhovna Rada
Constituency /total
Overall seats won
Seat change
Popular vote
Seats /total
1994 895,830 3.3% 14/450
14 / 450
  14 Minority support
1998 For Truth, for People, for Ukraine 14/225 3/225
17 / 450
  3 Opposition
2002 1,780,642 7.1% 20/225 2/225
22 / 450
  5 Opposition
2006 1,444,224 5.7% 33/450 N/A
33 / 450
  11 Coalition government
2007 668,234 2.9% 0/450 N/A
0 / 450
  33 Extra-parliamentary
2012 93,081 0.5% 0/225 0/225
0 / 450
Presidency of Ukraine
Election year Candidate First round Place Second round
No. of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
No. of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
1994 Oleksandr Moroz 3,466,541 13.3 3
1999 Oleksandr Moroz 2,969,896 11.8 3
2004 Oleksandr Moroz 1,632,098 5.8 3
2010 Oleksandr Moroz 95,169 0.4 11
2014 Olha Bohomolets (endorsed by the SPU) 345,384 1.9 8
2019 Illia Kyva [uk; ru][33] 5,869 0.3 29

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ In a press conference in November 2009, Moroz stated he had no regrets about joining the Anti Crisis coalition, saying: "I'm not ashamed but proud of the fact that I managed to halt the crisis of power. The economy operated normal and, the parliament adopted 80% of the laws [it considered] by a constitutional majority of votes. We were close to the decentralization of power. That's why Tymoshenko and Yushchenko's supporters forced the president to dismiss the parliament and remove me and my political forces illegally".[22]


  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2012). "Ukraine". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012.
  2. ^ (in Ukrainian) Results of elections, Central Election Commission
  3. ^ European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q (in Russian) Short bio,
  6. ^ a b Petro Ustenko heads Socialist Party of Ukraine, Kyiv Post (30 April 2012)
  7. ^ a b Economy minister appointed Socialist Party head, Kyiv Post (July 26, 2010)
  8. ^ a b Oleksandr Moroz elected Chairman of Socialist Party of Ukraine Archived 2011-08-17 at the Wayback Machine, National Radio Company of Ukraine (August 15, 2011)
  9. ^ A History of Ukraine: The Land and Its Peoples by Paul Robert Magocsi, University of Toronto Press, 2010, ISBN 1442610212 (page 722/723)
  10. ^ Subtelny, Orest (2000). Ukraine: A History. University of Toronto Press. p. 577. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0.
  11. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) Соціалістична партія України, (September 4, 2009)
  12. ^ Atlas of Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century by Richard Crampton and Ben Crampton, 1997, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-16461-0, page 277
  13. ^ Political parties of the world by Alan J. Day and Henry W. Degenhardt, 2002, John Harper Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9536278-7-5, Page 479
  14. ^ a b Understanding Ukrainian Politics: Power, Politics, and Institutional Design by Paul D'Anieri, M.E. Sharpe, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7656-1811-5
  15. ^ Ukraine and Russia: The Post-Soviet Transition by Roman Solchanyk, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2001 ISBN 0742510174
  16. ^ Ukrainian Political Update by Taras Kuzio and Alex Frishberg, Frishberg & Partners, 21 February 2008 (page 22)
  17. ^ (in Ukrainian) Партія „Справедливість“, Database DATA
  18. ^ Ukraine's election frontrunners, BBC News (28 March 2002)
  19. ^ Understanding Ukrainian Politics: Power, Politics, and Institutional Design by Paul D'Anieri, M.E. Sharpe, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7656-1811-5, page 117
  20. ^ Ukraine coalition born in chaos, BBC News (July 11, 2006)
  21. ^ Q&A: Ukrainian parliamentary poll , BBC News (1 October 2007)
  22. ^ Moroz says he was responsible for formation of anti-crisis coalition with Regions Party and Communist Party, Kyiv Post (November 30, 2009)
  23. ^ Party Of Regions, Tymoshenko bloc, Strong Ukraine, Front for Change and Communist Party would get into parliament, Kyiv Post (April 12, 2010)
  24. ^ (in Ukrainian) Results of the elections, preliminary data, on interactive maps by Ukrayinska Pravda (8 November 2010)
  25. ^ (in Ukrainian) Партію Мороза виключили з Соцінтерну, Ukrayinska Pravda (3 July 2011)
  26. ^ (in Ukrainian) Партія Мороза "проковтнула" п'ять партій, Ukrayinska Pravda (18 December 2011)
  27. ^ (in Ukrainian) Соцпартії не сподобалася назва "Об'єднані ліві і селяни", (16 December 2011)
  28. ^ Ukraine Business Online
  29. ^ (in Ukrainian) Candidates, RBC Ukraine
  30. ^ (in Ukrainian) Proportional votes Archived 2012-10-30 at the Wayback Machine & Constituency seats Archived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  31. ^ Alphabetical Index of parties in 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  32. ^ a b
  33. ^ a b c d e (in Ukrainian) The Socialists held a congress and sent Kivu to the presidency by Ukrayinska Pravda (3 November 2018)
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Socialist Party nominates Moroz for president". 2009-10-25.

External linksEdit