Party of power
The term "party of power" refers to a political party that has a close relationship with the executive branch of government such that the party appears to function as an extension of the executive rather than as an autonomous political organization. The concept resembles that of a cartel party. In a presidential republic the party of power typically forms a legislative block that backs the executive. The concept has been commonly applied to post-Soviet political parties. Claims have been made[by whom?] that United Russia, the New Azerbaijan Party, Kazakhstan's Nur Otan, the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan, the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan and Georgian Dream (from 2013) are parties of power. Parties that have been considered as parties of power in the past include the Union of Citizens of Georgia (until 2003), the Georgia's United National Movement (until 2013) and the Republican Party of Armenia (until 2018).
Parties of power are typically described[by whom?] as having a hierarchical top-down structure, being centralised, organised in clientelistic networks, lacking a defined or coherent ideology and playing a subordinate role towards the bureaucracy. They have been created by the state as a method to assist in the political interests of the executive branch but while also being reliant on the state to manipulate election outcomes.
The use of the concept and of the term "party of power" has been criticized, including by those who claim that, strictly speaking, United Russia and Nur Otan do not possess or exercise power themselves. It is not the parties that make decisions and policies in the last resort. The term "parties of power" may therefore be regarded as misleading.[need quotation to verify]
Russian parties of power
In the Russian language, the term "party of power" (or more correct "power party" or "party in power") is used to describe the party which advocates the current head of state, the party which belongs to/is controlled by the current government or the party established by the current highest official in the state. The terms "ruling party" and "party of power" can be considered as antonyms, because a party of power will be established after a presidential election to support the winner and not the reverse. The party has the same ideology as the president or prime minister. A party which supports the current president without difficulty wins parliamentary elections. After the party leader loses a presidential election, a party of power without coherent ideology, as a rule, ceases to exist.
List of Russian parties of power
These parties were specially established for support of the incumbent president or prime minister in the Russian parliament:
- Interregional Group of Deputies/Democratic Russia (1990-1993, Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union/Congress of People's Deputies of Russia/Supreme Soviet of Russia)
- Choice of Russia (1993-1995)
- Party of Russian Unity and Accord (1993-1995) headed by Sergey Shakhray (the second "party of power" after 1993 legislative election)
- Our Home – Russia (1995-1999, so called "centre-right party of power")
- Ivan Rybkin Bloc (considered as potential centre-left "party of power" during 1995 legislative election)
- Unity (1999-2001/2003)
- United Russia (2001/2003–present)
- A Just Russia (in 2006-2008/2010 as the second "party of power", support of Vladimir Putin and opposition to United Russia; in 2014 the party wants to join All-Russia People's Front)
- Political parties in Russia#Party of power
- Ruling party
- Dominant-party system
- Multi-party system
- Non-partisan democracy
Isaacs, Rico (2011). Party System Formation in Kazakhstan: Between Formal and Informal Politics. Central Asian Studies. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781136791079. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
A central principle behind the party of power is a party's relationship with the state (Knox et al., 2006). Parties of power have a close relationship with the executive branch which is seen to co-opt parties of power for their own political purposes (Hale, 2004). Thus, parties of power are an extension of the executive where the party 'is the actual group whose members wield power in and through the executive branch of government' (Oversloot and Verheul, 2006: 394).
- Isaacs, Rico (2011). Party System Formation in Kazakhstan: Between Formal and Informal Politics. Routledge. p. 38.
- Herron (2009). Elections and Democracy After Communism?. p. 87.
- Baader, Max (2013). Party politics in Georgia and Ukraine and the failure of Western assistance. Promoting Party Politics in Emerging Democracies. Routledge. p. 26.
- Gel'man (2013). Party Politics in Russia. pp. 42–44.
- Nicklaus Laverty (2015) The “party of power” as a type, East European Politics, 31:1, 71-87, DOI: 10.1080/21599165.2014.983088