National Democratic party

National Democratic party (Natsionalno-Demokratychna partiia, or NDP; also known as the Ruthenian National Democratic party, Ukrainian-Ruthenian National Democratic party, and [from 1914] Ukrainian National Democratic party). A centrist Galician political party founded on 26 December 1899 in Lviv by members of the right wing of the Ukrainian Radical party (Volodymyr Okhrymovych, Yevhen Levytsky, Viacheslav Budzynovsky, and Ivan Franko) and the majority of the Galician populists (particularly members of the People's Council in Lviv), including Yuliian Romanchuk, Kost Levytsky, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, Yevhen Olesnytsky, and Teofil Okunevsky. The party was headed by the People's Committee, consisting of Hrushevsky, Kost Levytsky, Okhrymovych, Demian Savchak, and Franko. Its first congress, on 5 January 1900, adopted a platform of national unity and independence. The party quickly gained a dominant position in Ukrainian political life in Galicia; it relegated the Radical party largely to the role of a permanent opposition and substantially curtailed the influence of Galician Russophiles. In the first direct Galician elections to the Austrian parliament based on universal male suffrage, in 1907 and 1911, it won the support of most Ukrainian voters. In 1907, 17 of the 27 deputies elected by Ukrainian and Russophile Galicians were National Democrats. In 1918 the party played a leading role in setting up the Western Ukrainian National Republic.

The presidents of the National Democratic party were Yuliian Romanchuk (1899–1907) and Kost Levytsky. Its secretaries were Levytsky (1899–1907), Volodymyr M. Bachynsky (1907–13), and Stepan Baran. It published the weekly Svoboda (Lviv), and its platform was supported by Dilo and Bukovyna.

At a party conference in Stanyslaviv in April 1919 the NDP changed its name to the Ukrainian Labor party, and in 1923 the party split into two groups. On 11 July 1925 the two groups and the Ukrainian Party of National Work formed the Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance, which dominated mainstream Ukrainian political life in the interwar Polish state.

 Vasyl Mudry

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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