18/7 Tass 303
MOSCOW, July 18 (Itar-Tass) —— The United Russia party has denied assertions that its leader, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov will take part in the primaries of the All-Russia People’s Front (ARPF) in St. Petersburg.
“I think this is wrong – I mean his [Gryzlov’s] participation in the primaries,” United Russia Presidium Deputy Secretary Yuri Shuvalov told Itar-Tass on Monday, July 18.
He said, “This was the initiative of St. Petersburg itself. So I do not confirm this.”
Earlier in the day, reports cited the official website of United Russia’s St. Petersburg branch as saying that Gryzlov would allegedly go through primaries in St. Petersburg in order to get into the list of State Duma candidates from the party.
The All-Russia People’s Front will accept applications for primaries till July 20, according to the decision made by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Gryzlov July 13.
According to Gryzlov, 4,500 applications have already been received for primaries, based on which the party will draw up its list of candidates for the upcoming Duma elections slated for December 2011.
“If compared to 2007, when we had 1,700 applications, their number now is growing every day,” Gryzlov said.
He suggested extending the deadline for the acceptance of applications till July 20 and starting the primaries on July 21.
He believes that the number of applications for primaries may exceed 5,000, “that is, we will have nearly 10 candidates per slot on the list”.
Putin agreed. “Agreed. Let’s extend it,” he said.
Initially, it was planned that applications for primaries would be accepted till July 1. Then the deadline was extended till July 12.
The idea of creating the All-Russia People’s Front was proposed by Putin at a regional conference of United Russia on May 6. “I propose the formation of what we call ‘a broad popular front’,” he said at the United Russia conference in Volgograd on the socio-economic development of southern regions of the country.
The new organisation may be called “All-Russia People’s Front”, Putin said. “The name is not the main question. The question is what it means and what our objectives are. This would be an instrument of the unification of kindred political forces. I want very much United Russia, other political parties, trade unions, organisations of women and veterans, including those of World War II and the Afghan War, all people wishing to strengthen this country, to have a common floor,” he said.
“Such form of the unification of various forces ahead of major political events has been used in various countries, by various political forces,” Putin said.
“The quality of our life and the future of Russia in the centuries to come will depend on how effectively we work in all areas… creating a moral and ideological basis for our life, strengthening ties with our past and looking into the future,” the prime minister said.
“We are creating the All-Russia People’s Front in order to make use of all constructive ideas and give civil society – youth, women’s and veterans’ organisations, business community, trade unions and associations – an additional opportunity to get directly involved in the drafting of public decisions,” Putin said.
“The formation of the All-Russia People’s Front is in a rather advanced stage and we can largely speak of its operation.,” Peskov said.
The leaders of the entrepreneurial organisations Opora Rossii, Delovaya Rossiya, the Association of Farmers and Agricultural Cooperatives, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Transport Union of Russia, and other public organisations, including the Russian Union of Afghan War Veterans, the Union of Women of Russia, the Inter-Regional Public Organisation of Automobilists, the Organisation of Armed Forces Veterans, and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions expressed their wish to join the All-Russia People’s Front.
“The All-Russia People’s Front will not confine itself only to federal public organisations. We plan to go out to the hinterland in order to foster dialogue and attract public organisations, not necessarily registered ones. We regard them as potential supporters of the Front,” Peskov said.
Peskov said applications for admission to the All-Russia People’s Front would be accepted through the Internet.
“A special form for a letter to Vladimir Putin will be posted on the website of the head of the government shortly. Those who wish to join the All-Russia People’s Front will be able to confirm that they share its goals and objectives and provide minimum information about themselves,” Peskov said.
Applications will be considered by the Coordination Council or the Front’s staff, which are now working with public opinion leaders and representatives of the organisations that have joined the All-Russia People’s Front.
According to Peskov, there are more than 400 of them at this point.