Viktor Baloha (Viktor Ivanovych Baloha) (15 June 1963, Zavydovo) is a Ukrainian politician and the former emergency situations minister.
Viktor Baloha was born on 15 June 1963 in the village Zavydovo, Mukachevo district, Zakarpattia Oblast, to Ivan Pavlovych Baloha and Mariya Vasilivna Baloha. He has two brothers, Ivan and Pavlo Ivanovych.
Baloha graduated from the secondary school of the village Zahattya of Іrshava district in 1980, which he attended after having finished the eight-year school in the village Zavydovo in 1978. He then enrolled at the Lviv institute of trade and economics and graduated with a degree in “Commodity science and food products trade organization” in 1984.
Following his compulsory military service in the Soviet Army, Baloha worked as a senior commodity expert in Beregovo Regional Consumer Society in the city of Beregovo. He continued to work as a commodity expert in various cities, rising to the position of the Chairman of the management board of LLC “Barva” in Mukachevo in 1997.
On 10 April 1998, Baloha was elected the Mayor of the city of Мukachevо and worked as a Mayor till 5 May 1999, when on 5 May 1999 he was appointed as Zakarpattia Regional State Administration Chairman.
Being against the resignation of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, Baloha resigned and was subsequently discharged from the position of the Zakarpattia Regional State Administration Chairman on 1 June 2001, according to his letter of resignation. He briefly reprises his role as the Chairman of the management board of LLC “Barva”.
Rejoining politics, Baloha was elected the Mayor at municipal elections and simultaneously the People’s Deputy at parliamentary election on 3 April 2002. He chose to work in the Verkhovna Rada.
From 2002 to 2005, he was th People’s Deputy of Ukraine for electoral district No.71, and was the member of the “Our Ukraine”(Ukrainian: Наша Україна, Nasha Ukrayina) parliamentary faction. He also was a member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on the issues of economic policy, administration of national economy, property and investments.
In May 2004 Baloha stood for Mukachevo city Mayor Election as one of the main candidates but lost the vote. Elections were declared invalid due to electoral fraud.
During the presidential campaign Baloha became the election agent of Viktor Yushchenko in Zakarpattia, electoral district No.71. On 4 February 2005, after being elected president, Viktor Yushchenko appointed Viktor Baloha to the position of Zakarpattia Regional State Administration Chairman.
On 8 September 2005 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine terminated the powers of Baloha V.I. as the People’s Deputy of Ukraine ahead of time according to his personal statement of resignation. Baloha was then released of his post as Zakarpattia Regional State Administration Chairman in September 2005 by president Viktor Yushchenko. He was then appointed Minister of Emergencies and Affairs of Population Protection from the Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe of Ukraine, followed by being appointed to the position of the Head of the Secretariat of the President of Ukraine in 2006.
On 5 October 2006 Viktor Baloha resigned from the position of the Minister of Emergencies and Affairs of Population Protection from the Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe of Ukraine. He also filed his resignation from the position of the Head of Secretariat of the President of Ukraine on Baloha’s own accord and was released in May 2009. Viktor Baloha cited as the main reason for his resignation his disagreement with the decision of Yushchenko to run for president for a second term. Baloha also argued that his role had become pointless given the apathy of the President.
On 12 November 2010 the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych appointed Viktor Baloha to the position of the Minister of Emergencies and Affairs of Population Protection from the Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe of Ukraine.
On 9 December 2010, Yanukovych discharged Baloha from that role and instead appointed him to the position of the Minister of Emergencies of Ukraine.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine subsequently authorized Baloha to be the Head on Ukrainian part of several joint intergovernmental commissions for cooperation issues. Baloha headed various intergovernmental commissions for cooperation with the Czech Republic, Israel and Slovakia.
On 20 November 2012 Baloha resigned as emergencies minister because he preferred to take in the seat in the Ukrainian Parliament he had won in the October 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election when he won a single-seat constituency in Zakarpattia Oblast for United Centre.
In the October 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, he won the same single-seat constituency (#69) as in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election, but this time as an independent candidate, and thus returned to parliament.
In July 2015, Baloha was implicated in violent clashes in Zakarpattia with fellow MP Mikhail Lanyo, relating to the control of cigarette smuggling in the region.
In the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election Baloha was reelected as a candidate for United Centre again in constituency 69 (in Zakarpattia Oblast). In parliament he joined the For the Future faction.