The National Economic Development Party (NEDP) is a late entrant on Ukraine’s political stage. Set up by senior bankers and managers of state enterprises, its twin goals are to represent Ukrainian industrial-financial interests and to support the presidential camp in these elections. NEDP’s slate of candidates, led by Industrial Investment Bank Chairman Volodymyr Matvienko, features in its top positions: the chairmen of the Ukrainian Social Bank and the Savings Bank; the general directors of the Malyshev tank factory of Kharkiv, the Krivyy Rih steel works, the Kherson shipyard, and the Poltava ore-enrichment plant; Transportation Minister Valery Cherep; and the deputy ministers of science and technology and of internal affairs.
NEDP’s platform calls for revitalizing national industry by creating a modern state-supported credit system, switching from barter to cash transactions, cutting taxes on business and personal income to enhance purchasing power and developing a viable internal market for Ukraine’s industry and agriculture. The party’s founders also expect the government aggressively to promote Ukrainian exports both on Eastern and Western markets. (UNIAN, December 18, 1997; Ukrainian TV, March 2, 1998)
NEDP is one of several parties linked to industrial and financial interests and proposing to lobby for national producers, not only in the new parliament but also by joining the post-election government. In this respect NEDP’s origins and agenda resemble those of the People’s Democratic party (PDP) (see Monitor, December 24, 1997). The president and his government in turn expect from these business leaders to mobilize resources and votes for the presidential camp in the elections. NEDP can play this role in the populous industrial centers. It seems destined for the role of junior partner of the PDP — "the party of power" around Kuchma — in the presidential camp’s electoral strategy.
Armenian Presidential Runoff.