Mironov Says A Just Russia Tops Local Polls
Published: October 5, 2011 (Issue # 1677)
The Just Russia party expects to get up to 15 percent of votes around the country and win the most votes in St. Petersburg in the upcoming parliamentary elections, Sergei Mironov, the leader of the party, said in St. Petersburg on Friday.
Mironov said that according to his information, opinion polls in St. Petersburg showed that A Just Russia is leading in pre-election ratings, leaving behind Putin’s United Russia, the Communist Party and the Liberal Democratic Party.
“We have serious plans to win in this region,” Mironov said.
Mironov called on all Russian citizens to show up and vote in the upcoming elections, saying it would be the best way to ensure a free and fair vote.
“The easiest way to manipulate votes is to do so with the votes of those who haven’t come,” Mironov said at a press conference.
Mironov said the most vulnerable voters are students, military conscripts and prisoners, who are often pressured to vote for a particular candidate by those in authority. Cases have been reported in which students, for example, were told by their university administration to take photographs of their completed ballots with their cell phones, he said.
Mironov said the three core parts of his party’s pre-election program consisted of fighting poverty, fighting corruption and liquidating United Russia’s monopoly on political power.
To fight poverty, A Just Russia proposes changing pension legislation and introducing progressive taxes, including a luxury tax.
To fight corruption, the party proposes introducing an obligatory declaration of income for all officials. It is also calling for the authorities to confiscate the property not only of the person charged with corruption, but also that of their family members.
To challenge the political monopoly of United Russia, Mironov’s party proposes restoring gubernatorial elections, reinstating the “against all candidates” option on ballots, installing web cameras in all of the rooms where votes are counted, and having transparent voting booths.