The abolition of the laws on language and de-communization, the termination of the economic blockade of Donbas, the restoration of trade with Russia, the neutral status of Ukraine and yesterday’s regionals and friends of Yanukovych in the top ten. Read everything you need to know about Opposition Platform – For Life party in the category Elections on Opinion.
We have created this section so that you have the opportunity to make a conscious, objective, and most importantly – your own decision in the parliamentary elections this summer. Talking about each of the parties, we turn to the official sites and public sources. Emotions aside, we figure out program promises and the reality of their performance.
What is in the program of the party?
“Peace. Unity. Consolidation”
– introduction of a moratorium on “creation and development of problems that split the country”;
– application of the “Formula of national success” which is based on the issues that “unite people”;
– a policy of “reconciliation and consent” that will “reattach” the country.
“Peaceful settlement of the conflict and reintegration of Donbas”
– negotiations in the format “Kyiv-Donetsk-Luhansk-Moscow”;
– termination of the economic blockade of Donbas (more about this initiative in our article);
– consolidation of the autonomous status of Donbas in the Constitution;
– adoption of laws on amnesty, elections and free economic zone in Donbas;
– implementation of the “Plan-of-concept on the settlement of the crisis in the South-East of the country” (it is unclear what kind of crisis is mentioned taking into account the state of war, and what this plan is).
“Ukraine is a legal democratic state”
– abolition of the law on language, education, renaming the church, decommunization, and lustration;
– releasing “all political prisoners of the former regime”;
– removing immunity from the president, people’s deputies, judges;
–introduction of the all-Ukrainian and local referendums.
– transition to a parliamentary republic and expansion of the powers of local self-government;
– independence of the judiciary branch;
– a proportional electoral system with open lists (the party miscalculated here since the Parliament has already adopted a new electoral code);
– law enforcement reform;
– strengthening criminal liability for corruption among officials.
“The policy of economic pragmatism”
– favorable investment climate;
– a tax on the capital;
– support for small and medium-sized businesses;
– opening the land market only after the results of the referendum;
– fighting against monopolies.
And the political power promises “to fight against de-industrialization, degradation, and deintellectualization of the country”. What is covered by these metaphors seems to be a huge party’s secret.
“Saying No to the policy of tariff genocide”
– reduction of gas tariffs, introduction of direct gas supplies from Russia;
– increasing the subsistence minimum to 7000 UAH;
– increasing payments at birth;
– a new system of taxation of individuals.
“Development of the social state” and “Affordable medicine”
– the opportunity to study in your native language;
– profile specialization at secondary school;
– insurance medicine by reducing the taxation of employers;
– restoration of accessible and emergency medical care.
“Foreign policy of peace, partnership and security”
– the neutrality of Ukraine in the military-political sphere;
– non-participation of the country in any military-political alliances;
– termination of the “policy of mutual sanctions” and restoration of trade and economic relations with Russia;
– revision of the terms of the participation in the World Trade Organization and in the free trade area with the EU;
– creation of a “Trilateral gas transportation consortium”.
Who is in the top ten of the party?
Yurii Boiko – a co-head of the party, a former co-head of the Opposition Bloc faction, an ex-‘regional’. He ran for the presidency twice. The ex-minister of energy in the governments of Viktor Yanukovych and Mykola Azarov. The head of “Naftogaz” during Leonid Kuchma’s presidency. He was involved in anti-corruption investigations and the “Boiko’s towers” case. Read more about who Yurii Boiko is, and about his presidential elections campaign in our article.
Vadym Rabinovych – a co-head of the party, people’s deputy from the Opposition Bloc, the president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress. He ran for the president of Ukraine in 2014. Before politics, he worked with media projects, was the owner of the football club “Arsenal”. In the Soviet Union, he was convicted of public funds plunder. He was involved in anti-corruption investigations.
Viktor Medvedchuk – a close friend of the Russian president Vladimir Putin, oligarch, a chairman of the political council of the Opposition Platform – For Life party. He was a people’s deputy numerous times, the first vice-speaker of the parliament (2000-2001), the head of the presidential administration of Leonid Kuchma. Medvedchuk was the lawyer of the dissident poet Vasyl Stus, however, he actually refused to defend the writer.
Natalia Korolevska – an ex-minister of social policy in the government of Azarov, the leader of the Ukraine – Forward! party (in the past – the Ukrainian social democratic party), a people’s deputy. She used to be a deputy of the Luhansk Regional Council. Korolevska was expelled from BYT for the violation of deputy ethics and the cooperation with Yanukovych’s administration.
Serhii Liovochkin – Yurii Boiko’s colleague, the people’s deputy on the lists of Opposition Bloc. The head of the administration of Viktor Yanukovych (2010-2014), he also worked in the president’s administration of Leonid Kuchma. In 2005-2006 he was an adviser to the then chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Lytvyn. He was involved in anti-corruption investigations. A co-owner of “Inter” TV channel (20%).
Vasyl Nimchenko – a people’s deputy, Medvedchuk’s deputy in the public organization Ukrainian Choice – the Right of the People. In Soviet times he worked as a judge, in the years of independence – as a judge of the Supreme and Constitutional Courts. He was one of the authors of the submission on the abolition of the article on illicit enrichment. He voted against the recognition of the Ukrainian sovereignty over the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Nestor Shufrych – another people’s deputy from the Opposition Bloc, a former businessman, he was a people’s deputy multiple times, an ex-‘regional’. Twice minister of emergency situations in the governments of Viktor Yanukovych and Mykola Azarov. A deputy secretary of the National Security Council in 2010-2012. He voted for the dictatorial laws of the Yanukovych regime.
Serhii Larin – was a people’s deputy multiple times, got to Rada for the first time in 1998 under the lists of People’s Democratic Council. Worked in the Administration for Affairs of Family, Youth and Tourism of the Donetsk Regional State Administration which at that time was headed by Viktor Yanukovych. An ex-‘regional’, the head of the executive committee of the Development Party of Ukraine which was partly a foundation for the Opposition Bloc. He was involved in anti-corruption investigations.
Serhii Dunayev – a people’s deputy, a former member of the Party of Regions, an ex-head of Lysychansk City Administration. Voted for dictatorial laws on January 16, 2014. The prosecutor general’s office tried to bring Dunayev to justice for false data in the declaration, but the parliament failed to submit the PGO’s report.
Taras Kozak – a partner of the Russian president’s close friend Viktor Medvedchuk, a people’s deputy from the Opposition Bloc. A member of the coordinating council of the public organization Ukrainian Choice of Medvedchuk. He headed the Western regional and Odessa customs, was a deputy chairman of the State Customs Service. Owns the 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK TV channels.
What is known about the Opposition Platform – For Life party?
The party was registered in December 1999 under the name All-Ukrainian Association “Center”. The political party was renamed in 2016 and headed by Vadym Rabinovych.
In fact, OPFL is another pro-Russian opposition party, during the creation of which the split in “the descendants” of the Party of Regions – the Opposition Bloc – happened. First, at the end of July 2018, the public organization of Viktor Medvedchuk Ukrainian Choice united with the party of Rabinovych. Subsequently, in the autumn of the same year, the people’s deputies from the Oppobloc Yurii Boiko and Serhii Liovochkin signed an agreement on cooperation and the creation of the Opposition Platform – For Life.
The reaction of the Opposition Bloc was sharply negative, they considered such actions as treason and expelled the people’s deputies from the faction. In fact, this was the beginning and the cause of the split. Consequently, both parties had their own candidates in the presidential elections: Boiko ran from OPFL and Opposition Bloc put forward Oleksandr Vilkul. In addition, it is believed that the conflict in the Opposition Bloc was long overdue since Rabinovych made a “demarche” and created the project For Life.
Who finances the party?
According to the report for the first quarter of 2019, the headquarters of the party Opposition Platform – For Life received 768,5 thousand hryvnias of contributions from individuals. And practically all these means (701,6 thousand) were transferred to the account of the political force by Vladimir Putin’s close friend Viktor Medvedchuk.
Other donors of the party made rather modest donations. Mark Taliansky, the head of the public organization Kyiv Regional Charitable Jewish Community, is on the second place – he contributed 28,9 thousand hryvnias to the political force.
The third place belongs to the head of the Vinnytsia branch of the party Donatas Piskun, who filled the treasury of the “Opposition Platform” with 14 thousand hryvnias. Viacheslav Ushkevych, a director of the Ukrainian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, donated exactly the same amount. The political party received much more money last year – 1,2 million hryvnias.
Is the party connected with any scandals?
Yes. Many scandals are connected with the TV channels controlled by the party representatives – Taras Kozak and Viktor Medvedchuk. For example, recently the Russian propaganda TV channel Rossiya 1 announced a joint teleconference with NewsOne called We Need to Talk. This initiative angered the public and caused a flurry of protests and critics, as a result of which the channel controlled by Medvedchuk refused to participate in the project.
The rhetoric of the party, as a rule, is openly pro-Russian, but it did not start during these parliamentary elections. The thesis about “civil war”, just a “conflict” and “crisis in the Donbas” are pretty typical for the party members. For example, in 2016 Serhii Liovochkin said that “civil fratricidal war” is an assessment of events that is at least very close to the truth. And Viktor Medvedchuk together with Putin even became the main characters of the propaganda film Opening Ukraine, the main narrative of which is “coup d’état with the support of the CIA” (meaning Maidan) and “civil conflict in the Donbas” (war with Russia).
Text by Dmytro Zhuravel