Communists have no plans for election alliances – deputy leader

MOSCOW, August 25 (Itar-Tass) —— The Communist Party’s leadership does not intend to form alliances with other parties before the elections to the Duma, but it will be ready to cooperate in monitoring the vote counting.

“I’m for an alliance with anyone who can help ensure fair elections,” State Duma deputy speaker, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Ivan Melnikov told the media.

“We can discuss the issue of cooperation on some specific issues. If someone else exerts efforts along these lines and joins our efforts, that’s fine, we do not mind,” he explained. Melnikov said the Communists were ready to cooperate with political parties, public organizations and non-systemic opposition in counting the election returns, in particular, to exchange protocols. “For this there will not have to be special arrangements. If they are ready to make efforts to monitor elections at polling stations, we shall not reject anyone’s help,” he stressed.

Speaking about a possible alliance with the Fair Russia party (a similar idea had previously been expressed by Fair Russia leader Nikolai Levichev) Melnikov recalled that over the past two years the two parties were trying to communicate. First, joint action was about to be taken on a message to the Constitutional Court requesting the abolition of the unified state exam. Then Fair Russia first signed it, but later withdrew the signature. After that, according to the deputy speaker, they acted hesitantly during the demarche of the Duma opposition after the regional elections of 2009.

“Once again, they will find new arguments to lean against the authorities,” said Melnikov.

Number one on the federal list of the Communist Party in December’s State Duma elections will be the party’s leader, Gennady Zyuganov, and the list itself will carry ten names, Melnikov announced.

He said the likely nominees (except for Zyuganov) were still being discussed, and the full list would be presented at the Congress of the Communist Party on September 24. Melnikov said that “in the top ten there will be people who will actively work across the country.” In all, the list of the CPRF will carry approximately 600 names, Melnikov said. Also, he said the Communists were planning to renew a quarter of their faction. Melnikov said that on the lists there would be present young people alongside experienced politicians, as well as many women.

The State Duma’s deputy speaker also said that in the upcoming elections the Communists planned to use half a million observers, election commission members and media workers. In general, the Communist Party had set itself a task to win more than 30 percent of the votes.

“We will strive to get more than 30 percent, but this task will be a difficult one,” said Melnikov, adding that in case of the success of that “normal scenario” the Communist faction in the State Duma would get more than 100 seats. No pessimistic scenario is considered.

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