|Founded||23 April 2010|
Social democracy (majority)|
Russian minority interessts
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Opposition Bloc (Ukrainian: Опозиційний блок) is a Ukrainian political party that was founded in 2014 as six parties that did not endorse Euromaidan merged. In the 2014 election, it won 29 seats predominantly in the Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts.
In September 2014 American lobbyist Paul Manafort was hired as an advisor to (former Manafort client) Viktor Yanukovych’s former head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Serhiy Lyovochkin. Manafort was tasked with rebranding Party of Regions. Instead, he argued to help stabilize Ukraine, Manafort advised to create a new political party called Opposition Bloc. According to Ukrainian political analyst Mikhail Pogrebinsky “He thought to gather the largest number of people opposed to the current government, you needed to avoid anything concrete, and just become a symbol of being opposed".
It was planned that the biggest party in the previous 2012 parliamentary elections, Party of Regions, would be part of the Opposition Bloc in the 2014 parliamentary elections. This alliance was to be led by Serhiy Tihipko. But he refused to do so because in his opinion in this alliance there were "people tainted by corruption and to put it mildly, unpatriotic". Tihipko then became leader of (the revived) Strong Ukraine.
On 14 September 2014, the Party of Regions choose not to participate in the elections; it deemed the election lacking legitimacy because the residents of the Donbass could not vote in the election. Also on 14 September 2014, a forum took place in Kiev with the banner "Peace. Stability. Revival", at the end of which Party of Development of Ukraine, Center All-Ukrainian Union, Ukraine – Forward!, Labour Ukraine, New Politic and "State neutrality" decided to take part in the 2014 parliamentary elections as Opposition Bloc. Many individual members of Party of Regions ended up as candidates of Opposition Bloc. Among them Yuriy Boyko, who headed the party's election list. Other main figures on this election list are Natalia Korolevska, Mykhailo Dobkin and Vadim Rabinovich. In September 2014 Boyko argued that Opposition Bloc does not represent parties, but consisted only of individual politicians. Boyko, Dobkin and Rabinovich all took part in the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election. In which they scored 0.19%, 3.03% and 2.25%. Korolevska and Boyko were both ministers in the second Azarov Government. Serhiy Lyovochkin was also a candidate of the party. Five members of Party of Regions were in the top 10 of the Opposition Bloc’s electoral list.
The party won 29 seats; including the winning of 2 constituency seats. It won 2 constituency seats but for the nationwide party lists of the election (53.2% of the seats was elected by a nationwide party lists and 46.8% in 198 constituencies) the party gained most votes in all 14 constituencies in Kharkiv Oblast, all 6 constituencies in Luhansk Oblast (were voting was possible), 8 out of 9 in Zaporizhia Oblast (Petro Poroshenko Bloc winning the remaining constituency), in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast 10 out of 17 constituencies (Petro Poroshenko Bloc winning the remaining constituency), in Donetsk Oblast (were voting was possible) 6 out of 11 constituencies (Petro Poroshenko Bloc winning the remaining 5 constituencies). In Odessa Oblast 27 October preliminary result indicated that Petro Poroshenko Bloc had won 7 constituencies with the remaining 4 constituencies won by Opposition Bloc. In Mykolaiv Oblast Petro Poroshenko Bloc seemed to be the clear winner with winning 5 constituencies while the remaining constituency won by Opposition Bloc.
On 27 November 2014 an Opposition Bloc parliamentary faction of 40 people was formed (at the opening session of the new parliament).
In May 2016 Rabinovich left the party and its parliamentary faction after a request from his party Center All-Ukrainian Union.
According to Tadeusz Olszański, of the Centre for Eastern Studies, the party's 2014 election programme was socially liberal and pro-Russophone. The party's platform envisages protecting the status of Russian as a regional language.
The party wants "maximum decentralization" for Ukraine.
In the War in Donbass the party advocated to end the conflict by peaceful means and by negotiating with Russia. The party rejects the March 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia and wants "peace in united Ukraine within the borders of 1991".
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