29/7 Tass 180
MOSCOW, July 29 (Itar-Tass) —— State Duma Vice-Speaker from Just Russia Alexander Babakov, who stated about his quitting the party and joining the All-Russian Popular Front (ONF), filed right two applications for running in the ONF primaries in the Perm Territory and the Voronezh Region. However, he noted at a press conference on Friday that he will run in the primaries from Voronezh.
Babakov also noted that he had not filed an application to quit Just Russia yet. “This is not needed for running in the primaries,” the vice-speaker said with confidence.
Babakov also stated that despite his decision to join the All-Russian Popular Front he does not intend to join United Russia. “I will not join United Russia,” he said.
Meanwhile, he acknowledged that his quitting Just Russia is “inevitable”, but he will withdraw from the party in the future. Babakov confirmed that his decision is conscious and is caused by the disagreements with the current leader of the Just Russia faction in the State Duma with the former Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov. “I do not see any opportunity for further development,” he noted.
Babakov acknowledged that he was absolutely astonished by those comments, Mironov made after the media published Babakov’s open letter, which was made public before quitting Just Russia and joining the All-Russian Popular Front. Babakov stated that he had nothing to do with the letter and his reaction to the media publications was negative. However, he stated that Mironov’s response “was very surprising” for him. “I have always maintained respectful relations with Sergei Mikhailovich… But quite complicated relations inside the party made me take this decision. I was seeking to get in touch with Mironov, but failed to do it, and his comments showed that it is useless,” Babakov noted.
He also rejected allegations that his withdrawal from the party affects negatively the financing of the Just Russia Party, citing the current legislation that allows the current political parties to have official sponsors.
Meanwhile, Alexander Babakov stated in public that he does not intend to stay at his post in the lower house of parliament.
“This is not a question, which should be decisive,” he told a press conference on Friday.
Meanwhile, he acknowledged that he had not discussed the situation in this context. “This is the question that the State Duma should settle, not only the faction,” Babakov said.
The chairman of the Just Russia Party Nikolai Levichev pledged earlier that if Babakov decides to join the All-Russian Popular Front he will have to give up his membership in Just Russia and quit as the State Duma vice-speaker. Levichev also believes that in this situation Babakov should also drop his deputy mandate.
Meanwhile, United Russia welcomed Babakov’s decision to join the All-Russian Popular Front.
“This is good that Babakov will join the All-Russian Popular Front, this is the position of a person, who thinks in the constructive way and makes some concrete proposals,” acting secretary of the United Russia State Council presidium Sergei Neverov told Itar-Tass on Friday. He noted that this decision “is balanced, thought-out and correct.”
“He always came out with constructive proposals and his decision in current conditions is right just for one reason that the party, in which he was, is becoming marginal. They (Just Russia) have no constructive initiatives, only criticism without any proposals,” Neverov believes.
“Babakov is a sensible man, he has some proposals, which are not supported there (in Just Russia),” says acting secretary of the United Russia General Council presidium. “I believe that the All-Russian Popular Front will support those ideas, thoughts and proposals that he will make and they probably will be included in its program, which is being drafted in the All-Russian Popular Front,” Neverov said.
In reply to a question whether the fact that Babakov needed about ten days to explain his position after the first reports about his intentions to join the All-Russian Popular Front, Neverov said, “First, he has made a statement quite a long time ago.” Meanwhile, he does not rule out that “perhaps, he (Babakov) was exposed to some pressure from his party co-members.” “By the way, he occupies the post of the vice-speaker and all attempts to press on him continued,” Neverov added. “Therefore, Babakov estimated the situation quite soberly, kept this pause and did not change his decision, which he voiced today,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Babakov intends to quit Just Russia, deputy secretary of the United Russia General Council presidium Yuri Shuvalov told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“The running in primaries envisages some debates and some public opinion promotion,” the politician explained. “His intentions to join the (election) list are in question,” he noted.
“His putting on the election party list is regulated toughly: this is the United Russia membership or membership in no party,” Shuvalov went on to say. “This is the position of Chairman of the United Russia Supreme Council Boris Gryzlov, we will certainly put in practice,” he pointed out.
“Therefore, in this situation the ONF membership retains an opportunity for him to be a Just Russia member, and his running in the primaries actually makes him give up membership in Just Russia,” Shuvalov dotted all i’s and cross all t’s. He noted that Babakov “probably should settle this problem for himself earlier than he is planning, because certainly he is planning to run for the State Duma.”