The Communist faction in the Russian parliament said on Tuesday it would vote against Dmitry Medvedev’s candidacy for premier after 90-minute consultations with the candidate this morning, a Communist member said.
“The faction will vote against [him],” Vladimir Bessonov said.
Ex-president Medvedev is holding traditional consultations with parliamentary factions before the lawmakers will vote on his candidacy at 3 pm Moscow time on Tuesday. President Vladimir Putin submitted Medvedev’s candidacy to the State Duma on Monday shortly after his inauguration as president for a third term.
Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said the country needed a new policy line and modernization.
“We cannot support Medvedev, because he will stick to the same policy that has led the country into a dead-end,” he said, adding that the party was prepared to cooperate with the new government regardless.
On Monday afternoon, Medvedev met with members of the ruling United Russia faction and the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDPR) who promised to vote in his favor on Tuesday. He will talk to the left-wing A Just Russia later on Tuesday
A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov has already called on party members to unanimously vote against the proposed premier or not to turn up at the voting at all and threatened punishment for those who refuse to follow his instructions.
“We must pursue a sensible pragmatic position,” he said, adding it was not the final decision of the party though.
Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy head of the A Just Russia faction, said his faction was concerned about some key points in Medvedev’s plans as premier, including the expansive privatization program for which A Just Russia sees no economic base. Another issue of concern is the candidate’s plans to introduce market mechanisms in the social sphere, which Yemelyanov said would undermine people’s right to quality healthcare and education.
To be approved to the post, Medvedev will have to gain the majority of votes in the 450-seat Duma, which is at least 226 votes. United Russia, which earlier proposed Medvedev as its leader, holds 238 seats.
The main intrigue has been going on around the lineup of the new government if Medvedev is approved.
Dmitry Gudkov of A Just Russia wrote in his Twitter during the faction’s consultations with Medvedev, quoting the latter as saying that he had no intention of radically changing the lineup.