Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Omelchenko (Ukrainian: Олександр Олександрович Омельченко Oleksandr Oleksandrovyč Omel'čenko) became the mayor of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, in 1999. He lost his re-election bid in March 2006. Omelchenko is also a former member of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament).
Omelchenko is the President of both the Association of the Cities of Ukraine and the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine (1997-2006). In 2001 Omelchenko bought FC CSKA Kyiv from the Ministry of Defense and transformed it into FC Arsenal Kyiv.
During the 1999 Kiev mayoral election, Omelchenko defeated a noted oligarch Hryhoriy Surkis, with 76 percent of the vote to Surkis's 16 percent. Omelchenko became the first elected mayor in Ukraine's modern history, with a platform highlighting his work in restoring much of Kiev's historic buildings and renovating parts of downtown Kiev.
Omelchenko was a candidate in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, nominated by the Unity Party, which he formerly chaired. Omelchenko was the only candidate for President whose son was a deputy in the Ukrainian parliament. His program included the urgent withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Iraq. After the Orange Revolution, Omelchenko joined the People's Union "Our Ukraine" party but did not disband his old party.
While he was running for a third term as Mayor of Kiev in what was expected to be an easy victory in the March 2006 election, he was badly defeated and with 21% of the votes came third behind Leonid Chernovetsky (mayor-elect) and Vitali Klitschko.
During the 2007 parliamentary elections Omelchenko was elected as an Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc deputy to the Verkhovna Rada. He was expelled from that fraction in September 2011 because of supporting the Azarov Government. However he voluntary left the faction the next month. Omelchenko son Oleksandr was also a member of the Verkhovna Rada on an Our Ukraine ticket from 2002 till 2007.
During the 2008 Kiev local election Omelchenko was again a candidate for the post of Mayor of Kiev but he only gained 2,53% of the votes this time; placing 6th after mayor-elect Chernovetsky. His Oleksandr Omelchenko Bloc won only 2,26% and no seats in the Kiev City Council.
In the 2012 parliamentary elections Omelchenko at first intended to attempt to be re-elected into parliament in single-member districts number 220 situated in Kiev; but he withdrew from the elections.
During the 2014 Kiev local election Omelchenko was again a candidate for the post of Mayor of Kiev again as a candidate of the Unity Party. He finished 4th in this election with 6.1% of the votes (winner Vitali Klitschko received 56.7%). Unity won 3.3% of the votes and 2 seats in the Kiev City Council; including a seat for Omelchenko.
Omelchenko did not participate in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election.
Honours and awards
- Hero of Ukraine (21 August 2001) for outstanding personal contribution to the Ukrainian state in the socio-economic and cultural development of the capital of Ukraine
- Order of the Badge of Honour (1982)
- Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1986)
- Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, 3rd (2006), 4th (1999) and 5th (1998) classes
- Honour of the President of Ukraine (1996).
- Honoured Builder of Ukraine.
- Diploma of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (2003).
- State Prize of Ukraine in the field of architecture (2004).
- Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry (Portugal, 16 April 1998)
- Honorary doctorate of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (2001)