Russian liberals consolidating their efforts in an abortive attempt to dispel the pall

Featured Image

Russian liberal non-system opposition proceeds to formulating its political strategy for the next two years. The People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS) – one of the key actors in this area of the political arena – calls on its supporters and followers at least to enlist cooperation before a run of electoral campaigns (from municipal to presidential), if not to close the ranks.

PARNAS can be satisfied with little and will be happy if liberals manage to force through their cronies at least into local bodies. But, in theory, the opposition can also set sights on presidency. The democrats will have an opportunity to discuss their prospects on December 12. A roundtable is scheduled for this date.

PARNAS is going to invite Yabloko, Alexey Navalny’s Party of Progress, Solidarnost, Libertarian Party and December 5 Party. As for Yabloko, the party has already decided on the presidential nominee – this is Grigory Yavlinsky, who needs no introduction.

First vice-president of the Center for Political Technologies Alexey Makarkin, talking to Politanalitika, mentiones that a candidate, running for presidency, should strive to provide the whole country with the best possible, so this presupposes moving beyond the work only with their own electorate. And now liberals cannot afford the time to promote their candidate:

– I see here three possible scenarios. The first one is suggesting Yavlinsky for president. But Yabloko headed by this politician earned only 2% of votes at the latest parliamentary elections. So, Grigory Yavlinsky is an underdog candidate. Voters perceive him as a politician from the 1990s, who has had his day. Yavlinsky is not able to inspire liberal voters, he, as it is said, does not have the guts. He is unlikely to buttress popular support.

The second scenario is to nominate an alternative candidate. But at the moment there is no such politician on the horizon. Alexey Navalny will not be allowed to participate in the elections because of his conviction. Mikhail Kasianov, leader of PARNAS, at the latest elections earned even less votes than Yavlinsky. At the moment there are no other politicians, able to inspire voters or at least get them interested. Besides, only Yavlinsky can collect enough signatures to run for presidency.

In general, PARNAS fares worse than Yabloko. Yabloko has mandates in St. Petersburg legislature and is represented by Lev Schlosberg in the Pskov region, while PARNAS has only one deputy who took the place of tragically killed Boris Nemtsov. For sure, the party will lose this seat after the next elections. Thus, it will be deprived of its federal license, while Yabloko, despite its defeat, will keep this license for a long period.

Besides, the name of Alexei Kudrin, who is also known nationwide, from time to time appears in mass media. But the question is whether he wants it. He is working on the economic program, which Vladimir Putin is likely to use when he runs for the fourth term. And then there will be a conundrum: on the one hand, Kudrin is the author of the program and president’s friend; on the other hand, he is president’s competitor. It seems to me that this scenario is too exotic and Alexei Kudrin himself will be the first to feel uncomfortable. So, this scenario can be swept aside.

Here comes the third scenario: some liberals will vote for Grigory Yavlinsky, and other will boycott the elections in order not to waste time and money.


List of Comments

No comments yet.