Popular Front’s foreign members give United Russia poll headache

An election official has complained about the Prime Minister Putin’s political platform, the All-Russia Popular Front.

The official says ruling party United Russia will not be able to draw on the group’s support in December’s Duma vote, as the Popular Front has foreign members.

Since its establishment the Popular Front has been proclaimed an organization anyone can join, whatever his or her citizenship is. Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Finland and Moldova have already expressed their interest.

According to Russian law, organizations that have foreign members cannot take part in national elections.

“Technically speaking, the Popular Front is not a legal organization,” Ekaterina Kuznetsova, from the Centre for Post-Industrial Studies, told RT. “It cannot stand in elections. All the members of the Popular Front who want to take part have to go through the United Russia primaries.”

The initiative to set up an All-Russia Popular Front came from Prime Minister Putin at the beginning of May. The aim of the movement is to bring together a number of various political parties, trade unions, youth and women’s organizations under a single political platform.

This, in Putin’s view, would not only allow public initiatives to be advanced more easily, but also to enlarge the electorate of the United Russia party, the performance of which during elections to local legislatures was not satisfactory. So ahead of the parliamentary election on December 4, the party, led by Vladimir Putin, needs to strengthen its position by attracting more of the electorate.

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