Kaplin elected Socialist Party leader, to run for president
Delegates of the all-Ukrainian congress of socialists, social democrats and trade unions, which gathered over 2,000 participants at Kyiv's Zhovtnevy Palace to elect the new leadership of the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU) and proclaim the creation of the bloc For Ordinary People, have unanimously voted for the election of Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Serhiy Kaplin as SPU chairman, the politician's press service reported on October 1.
"I am grateful to the socialists for this trust. SDP, which I have headed up to now, as well as the Socialist Party, the Pensioners Party of Ukraine and trade unions, have united into a single bloc For Ordinary People... Together we stand for the authorities – for local councils, for parliament and for the presidency," Kaplin said.
He said there was an attempt to seize the leadership of the party by an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, former head of the Drug Control Department at the National Police, Illia Kiva, with the support of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko.
According to Kaplin's press service, the congress also decided to nominate him as candidate for the country's main post. Socialists, social democrats and trade unions also began to form a shadow government of the leftists and the national personnel reserve.
The report notes that the bloc For Ordinary People plans to fight for a number of constitutional changes.
"We will seek the nationalization of strategic enterprises, a reduction in the number of MPs to 100, a public election of prosecutors and judges, and removal of any immunity. A major task is active parliamentary legislative work," Kaplin said.
The congress was attended by representatives of the European leftist parties, in particular, the social democrats of Finland, Poland, Belarus and a representative of the Communist Party of China. Almost 50 trade unions and organizations of retirees and veterans of the Interior Ministry and the Ukrainian Armed Forces became the co-founders of the bloc.
After the congress, the delegates held a rally outside the building of the Justice Ministry and demanded the implementation of the High Administrative Court's decision to remove Kiva from the registers and register SPU's new leadership.
As reported, Kiva said on July 8 that he had decided to head SPU and that the relevant decision had been taken at a party congress. There was no official information from SPU on this matter.
Later Kiva stated that SPU did not intend to unite in elections with any of the political forces currently represented in the Verkhovna Rada. According to him, the main goal of the party will be patriotic work.
SPU was established in the fall of 1991. Oleksandr Moroz was initially elected its leader. In 2012, the party was headed by Pavlo Ustenko. In 2014, the SPU congress impeached him, and Mykola Rudkovsky was elected leader of the party then. In August 2015, he was succeeded by Mykola Sadovy.