Left and Center - Left Parties in Ukraine

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Haran, Olexiy
Belmega, Vasyl
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Ukrainian politics lacks a genuine and strong social democratic party. The formerly influential Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) represented oligarchic interests and was marginalized since the Orange revolution while several other social democratic parties are insignificant. Despite electoral successes in 1990s, support to non-modernized Communists declined from 20 per cent in 2002 to 3-5 per cent in 2006-2010. Most of the Communist electorate was seized by Party of Regions which represents large business groups but simultaneously plays with populists slogans. In contrast to the orthodox Communists, the Socialist Party gradually evolved to the left social democracy but it was discredited by its 2006 defection from the Orange camp to coalition with Party of Regions. The Left claimed they would "defend ‘workers’ rights". However, their programs contain only slogans. Therefore, the left also actively exploit cultural, language, and foreign policy slogans which serve as a "marker" to attract their non-orange electorate. The active use of traditional "left", social slogans by all mainstream parties in electoral campaigns indicates that the current crisis of the Ukrainian left is not one of social-democratic ideology but of the left parties.
Social Democratic Party, Party of Regions, Orange revolution, political party
Haran, Olexiy, Left and Center - Left Parties in Ukraine / Olexiy Haran & Vasyl Belmega ; Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. - Berlin : Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Department of Central and Eastern Europe, 2010. - 7 p.