A Just Russia offers Communists alliance for Duma elections

A Just Russia, one of the parties in the Russian lower house of parliament, has proposed an alliance with the Communist Party (KPRF) in a bid to break the ruling United Russia’s dominance in the December parliamentary elections, A Just Russia’s Duma faction leader Nikolay Levichev said on Tuesday.

“I would like to take this platform to appeal to the leadership of the Communist Party of Russia, personally to Gennady Zyuganov (KPRF leader) with a proposal to create an alliance of left forces that would destroy United Russia’s plans to gain a majority,” Levichev said at a press conference.

Levichev claimed the two parties could in combination surpass United Russia, but would stay on separate lists.

“It’s clear, that in the elections we will go on our lists and they will, go on theirs,” he said.

The collaboration effort with the Communists would help prevent electoral fraud, he added.

The Сommunists said they were ready to discuss the proposal only if A Just Russia party breaks its ties with the United Russia.

“It is not clear what ‘alliance’ means because [electoral] blocks are prohibited by law,” senior Communist party official Sergei Obukhov said.

If the proposal means the creation of an “alliance like the one that exists de jure between United Russia and A Just Russia – an agreement between [United Russia parliamentary faction leader Boris] Gryzlov and [A Just Russia party leader Sergei] Mironov on cooperation, joint electoral staff policies,” then, Obukhov said, A Just Russia “is performing like a political bigamist.”

“They haven’t yet divorced United Russia, but are already seeking an alliance with the Communist Party,” he said, adding that his party has “many claims” to A Just Russia over its cooperation with United Russia.

No presidential nominee until Putin-Medvedev decision

A Just Russia parliamentary faction leader also said on Tuesday that his party would not nominate its candidate for the presidential elections due in March 2012 until Russia’s ruling tandem announces which of them – current President Dmitry Medvedev or Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – will run in the elections.

“Until this black box is open, it’s quite useless to discuss who would be A Just Russia party’s candidate,” Levichev said, adding “it’s no secret to anyone that such a candidate will be nominated.”

Medvedev and Putin have maintained an intrigue over which of them would run in the next presidential elections. They have said that one of them, but not both, would participate.

Mironov earlier suggested that the tandem would not announce their decision until December, saying that his party would announce its presidential candidate in the fall.

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