Децентралізація як виклик для партійної системи України

Олена Стойко


There is no empirical evidence of the negative impact of decentralization on the characteristics of the party system, especially when it comes to the process of party system nationalization in young democracies. In new democracies with non-uniform functional cleavages  a high level of decentralization may prevent the formation of a nationalized party system. Political decentralization creates opportunities for the formation of a special, subnational party system that determines selective competition in a particular region. At the same time, financial decentralization expands access to resources (financial, land, etc.) for subnational political actors, which in turn strengthens their positions and makes them independent from the center (administrative, political, financial).

However, it is obvious that political decentralization affects the degree of party system nationalization which manifests itself in the phenomenon of regional or ethnoregional parties. Thus, the emergence of ethnoregional parties in Europe is directly or indirectly connected with decentralization processes.

In Ukraine, even before the beginning of the active phase of decentralization, local elections in October 2015 recorded the territorial fragmentation of the party system of Ukraine, for which there are no legislative prerequisites.

Parties that have managed to become members of regional councils can be classified into five types:

1)  parties of the leader’s type, whose leaders were once elected in a majority district;

2)  post-Maidan parties, wchich are the result of the revitalization of civil society;

3)  pro-government parties, in the lists of which local officials are widely represented;

4)  lobbying, defending the interests of large businesses at the local level, because the deeper  is decentralization, the more powers will be transferred to local authority;

5)  genuine ethnic parties, represented only by “KMKS”; the Party of Hungarians of Ukraine.

Even more alarming trends for the party system nationalization were revealed by the recent elections held in the united territorial communities (UTC), formed during the implementation of the territorial reform.

The election results in the UTG not only do not reflect, and in some moments even contradict the party structure in parliament, and the results of opinion polls on parliamentary elections.At first glance, the results of the elections in the UTC can be ignored, since they are not representative for the whole country – they cover only about 5% of all voters in Ukraine. In addition, they are held by proportional, and not mixed, as a parliamentary election, system, which can also affect the obtained results. However, together with the results of the 2015 local elections they indicate a tendency towards the denationalization of the party system: the emergence of regional political parties not represented in the national parliament, which can consciously be limited to the local level of politics. The reason is that the deepening of financial and land decentralization will provide them with the necessary resources, at least in the near future.

Ключові слова

nationalization; party system; decentralization; ethnoregional party; local election

Повний текст:


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