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Nezavisymaya Gazeta

Seeking Employment: Submit Proposals to the Party by Alexandra Novikova

January 23, 2002

Yesterday, on the Remembrance Day of the Victims of Political Repressions, a large number of people gathered by Solovetsky Stone in Moscow (Ed. Solovki was one of Following a succession of party congresses, most of them in December 2001 and January 2002 and concerned with compliance of documentation with the law "On the Parties", in general the political structures of Russia took some time to emerge. (... ) Only now Russia's political structures have begun resuming their activities after the New Year's holidays; so the party life promises to become more diverse soon. What are the parties planning to do in the near future? We asked the leading political parties this question.

Establishing regional branch offices is a fundamental problem faced by the party authorities of United Russia. Unlike all the other parties, it has to implement the most difficult step - to unite

three local groups of the party in each of the 89 regions and elect its local leaders. In an interview with our reporter, senior deputy of the Central executive committee of United Russia Yevgeny Trofimov said that the party has decided to use an atypical approach to resolution

of this delicate issue. Instead of issuing orders to resolve all staff problems in the regions within a month, membership of the party applied to governors, heads of legislative assemblies in the regions and also regional envoys with a request to express their opinions about the most suitable candidacy for head of local branches of United Russia. As a result, over 2,000 proposals were submitted to the Central committee, and it was decided that the most honourable would be selected at a special meeting in March, and that the candidacies would only be nominated to regional branch offices subsequent to this event. Then the party will build up a network of local and primary party groups. Most frequently, university heads of local higher education institutions and also directors of enterprises are proposed, Trofimov said. In some regions, regional leaders even include themselves in the party lists, such as, for instance, Ulianovsk Governor Vladimir Shamanov. Moreover, completion of the main documents of the party and formation of the machinery of the new structure is among United Russia's plans.

The Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) is also active.

Thus, in February the party of Boris Nemtsov intends to hold a conference

dedicated to freedom of speech in Russia entitled "Power of press of press on power?", and also a campaign aimed against toughening the visa regime for Russian citizens entering the US. The SPS also intends to continue upholding the need to conduct military reform, which the government is about to resume to discuss in March. As for withdrawal of some of the party members from the SPS, it would not lead to a wave of withdrawals from the party, as thought in the structure. However, an upcoming political council of the SPS, where confirmation of the authority of the head of the party's executive committee is expected, may be rather hard. Three nominees would claim to this post, which is currently occupied by Eldar Yanbukhtin, a source in the SPS told us. Preparation of amendments to the Constitution, linked with transition of the Federation Council on an elective basis will be the main "surprise" from the SPS.

Yabloko is also preparing a draft law for appointing the upper house by election; however, the party does not intend to amend the Constitution, deputy chairman of Yabloko Sergei Mitrokhin said. Basically, Grigory Yavlinsky's structure intends to focus on the struggle to ban the export of nuclear waste to Russia and also work out amendments in the law for reforming the housing services. Moreover, Yabloko also intends to work on a draft law "On Public Television", which would make it possible to form a certain semblance of the BBC TV network, and also a document "On Public Monitoring of the Activity of the Special Services." As for party building, throughout the year Yabloko will form a network of election headquarters, which would not elect regional heads only, but also prepare for the next elections to the Duma.

Unlike the aforementioned parties, the CPRF only held its congress last Saturday. Therefore, in the near future the structure under the head of Gennady Zyuganov intends to get ready for changing registration of the party in the Justice Ministry. To succeed in this goal, the communists will have to hold conferences in the regions. Decisions adopted at the congress are to be confirmed at the conferences; then the documentation will be submitted to the Justice Ministry headed by Yuri Chaika.

However, the communists consider preparation for the impending parliamentary election to be their main task. It is piously believed in the CPRF that the parliamentary election will be held ahead of schedule.

The major wave of tempestuous election campaigns is behind already: less than two years are left until the next Duma election, if we put to one side the forecast of the communists.

So, the only factors which can enliven the routine of current Russia's political structures are, on the whole, either the law "On the Parties", or lawmaking in the lower house of parliament.


Seen also:

Yabloko and SPS

Nezavisymaya Gazeta, January 23, 2002

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