A new non-political Democracy Foundation called ‘People First’ was launched last week in Ukraine’s capital. Its organisers aim to involve the Ukrainian people in shaping the country’s future democratic development through a series of national internet and postal referenda.


Ukrainians living in the country and abroad will be encouraged to participate in a series of referenda, the results of which will form the basis of a ‘People’s Charter.’ This document will represent the most comprehensive public consultation of what Ukrainians want from their elected leaders and will be the foundation for dialogue with the president, government, political parties and NGOs.


“Our goal is simple, to ensure that the views and aspirations of the people are reflected in Ukraine’s democratic development,” said Ivan Matieshin, the President of the People First Foundation. “Democracy is the voice of the people and our programme is designed to give the people a voice that is loud enough to reverberate through the corridors of power not only in Ukraine but right across the world.”


The new foundation says that it has no alignment or allegiance to any political party or political doctrine. It is open to all parties and individuals to join. That includes all existing and future parties interested in furthering democracy in Ukraine.


“We will not concern ourselves with party politics and policies,” said Viktor Tkachuk, one of the founders of People First, “we will leave that to politicians. Our concern is strengthening democratic principles and encouraging the development of a strong civic society.”


People First was founded by Ukrainians concerned about the democratic direction of the country. Currently, it is being financed solely by Ukrainian businessman Ivan Matieshin. However, it will seek additional donors in Ukraine and abroad. It aims to be a transparent organisation - all donations will be publicly listed on its website along with its accounts.


A nationwide advertising campaign will start in June 2010. Subject tp the initial research results being successful, the first referendum is scheduled to take place in July and will be follwed by others in the autumn 2010 and spring 2011. 

The organisation asserts that data protection software and stringent procedures will ensure that voting is not manipulated and that details of voters are kept secure and private. 


According to it's initial Press Release, People First's main concern is for a truly democratic Ukraine where the will of the people is recognised as the sole source of State Authority.


 For further information, please contact:


Martin Nunn                                                                                       

People First                                                                                                                                                                            

Tel: +380 44 536 1508

Mob: +380 67 233 7333




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