Iryna Gerashchenko: no law may help create effective party without ideology, leadership, and clear goals

Ideology, democratic procedures and leadership are the main criteria for building an effective influential party in Ukrainian realities, MP Iryna Gerashchenko, co-chair of the European Solidarity faction, said during a discussion at the Election Forum organized by the OPORA Public Network.  

“The time in opposition is a great time to build a European party with ideology, with a goal, with a strategy. I joined the party in 2019, when it changed its name, and the name clearly defines its ideology: it is a pro-European vector of development of the country, and hence the party. In 2019, I took my first party ticket,” Iryna Gerashchenko said. 

“It is the elections that reveal the difference between a party and a political project. Local elections confirmed this. We are the only political force that has passed to all regional councils, and secured serious victories in many cities. We formed powerful factions in regional, district, and local councils,” Gerashchenko reminded. 

It is important, she said, for a political force to attract new people. 

“For this purpose, we held party primaries, through which we nominated our candidates for local councils, our representatives in local communities. All our newly elected deputies have signed a declaration of integrity, the violation of which means politically responsibility for them. This is important, especially in the context of the imperative mandate that many parties will begin to introduce this fall. The ES became the first party to use our declaration of integrity when we expelled one our deputy from the faction in the Kharkiv regional council. He violated a key ideological principle, the respect for the Ukrainian language, by speaking Russian at the session,” said Gerashchenko. 

“We have tripled our support today. Recent opinion polls show a significant increase. Obviously, there are several factors. First, it is a strong leader. In Ukrainian realities, it is difficult to build a strong team without a strong leader. But it is important for us that we are not a leader-type party with a strong leader, but a democratic party with a strong leader. Out team in the Verkhovna Rada has a strong ideological composition,” Gerashchenko said. 

“Transparency of funding and transparency in the development of our regional structures are drastically important for the party. We take this extremely seriously,” the co-chair of the faction stressed.