|WHO IS WHO ON THE PARTIES LISTS?|
By Alexandre Strokanov, Ph.D.,
Professor of History at Gardner-Webb University, North Carolina, USA
The base of the analysis.
The Federal lists (proportionate quote) from major political parties and electoral blocs were used as the base for this analysis. The lists selected for this research belong to major contenders in the coming elections, according to our own opinion. These are lists of the following parties and electoral blocs:
Kommunisticheskaya Partiya Rossiiskoi Federatsii ( the abbreviation KPRF will be used in the article) - Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
Ob’yedinenie “Yabloko” (Yabloko) - Association “Yabloko”.
Bloc “Soyuz Pravyx Sil” (SPS) - Union of Right Forces.
Movement “Nash Dom - Rossiya” (NDR) - Our Home is Russia
Bloc “Otechestvo- Vsya Rossiya” (OVR) - Fatherland - All Russia.
Liberal’no-Demokraticheskaya Partiya Rossii (LDPR) - Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia.
Bloc “Edinstvo”, but the list of candidates has name “Medved” (Medved’).
The lists were analyzed in the form as they were approved by the congresses and conferences of the parties and electoral blocs and accepted by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation (CEC) for further consideration and approval. After special investigation on each list of candidates the CEC requested from the parties to make some changes, particularly to delete several names of candidates, who presented false information about their property possessions. In the result the list of KPRF lost 9 candidates, Yabloko lost 9 names, the SPS and NDR also had to delete respectively 12 and 20 names from their lists. There were voluntary withdrawals of the candidates from the lists also. Consequently, the number of candidates that have been registered by CEC differs from the original one submitted by parties and blocs for the registration. The worst situation was developed around the list of LDPR which has been canceled by the CEC on motivation that 82 candidates from this list provided incorrect information about themselves, including two from the first three candidates in the list. Meanwhile, the original lists of the parties and electoral blocs, before voluntary withdrawals and corrections imposed by the CEC, are represented the major interest for this analysis
The sources of the lists were the Internet sites of the Central Electoral Commission of the Russian Federation and Panorama).
The lists were approved by the parties and blocs congresses and conferences on August 28, 1999 (NDR, OVR, SPS, Yabloko) and early September (KPRF and LDPR), the last one was the congress of Edinstvo (list “Medved”), which met on October 3, 1999.
The analysis of the lists was conducted in a several ways. It compares the average age of the candidates, their educational level, gender, party membership, occupation and place of their residence.
Age of the candidates.
The parties and blocs have representatives of different age groups in their lists. Meanwhile the majority of candidates is coming from 43-53 year old age category. The average age of the candidates may be seen in the following table.
KPRF - 51.1
SPS - 45.6
LDPR - 40.6
NDR - 50
Yabloko - 44
OVR - 47.5
Medved’ - 44
The average age criteria clearly represents the fact that KPRF has membership and electoral base from older generation. NDR known as a “party of power” goes next in the line. OVR looks surprisingly young, and it occupies the medium position. Finally, the three lists represent the young generation of Russian politicians: SPS, Yabloko and Medved’. However, the canceled list of LDPR appears to be strikingly young
The oldest candidate from these lists is Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov (OVR), who is the world renowned inventor of the famous “AKM.” Kalashnikov will be 80 years old on November the10th this year. Almost every party has in its list somebody in the age range of over 70. They are Naumov B.I. (70),the 1st deputy chairman of Argroprom Soyuz (KPRF), Kulikov B.R. (78), a consultant to the Ministry of Defense (OVR), Bunich P.G. (70), a Deputy of the current State Duma (NDR), Burlatsky F.M. (72), a senior researcher in the Institute of State and Law (SPS). All of these people are pretty well known in the country.
At the same time the lists contain really young candidates. 21 year old candidates may be found in the lists of KPRF, NDR and SPS. Usually they are students. The youngest candidates in the list of OVR is the 26 year old President of the Russian Union of Students, and in Yabloko it is the 24 year old assistant of the Deputy of the State Duma.
Certainly, most of candidates have a higher education (university diploma). Meanwhile, there are some candidates that have only middle level education (high school diploma, technical college or technical school). The highest percentage of candidates with a university diploma is in the list of OVR - 99.6%. Other parties have the following percentages: NDR - 98%, Yabloko - 97.1%, SPS - 95.8%, KPRF - 95.5%, Medved’ - 94.4%. Only canceled list of LDPR had a relatively low 81.7% percentage of candidates with this type of education.
Most of the candidates are males. The highest percentage of women is in the list of SPS 15.7%. Yabloko comes the second with 12%. So, these two organizations have not only the better representation of young people, but they also have more women among their candidates. The occupations of the majority of the female candidates include professional union, executive power positions, the academia (universities and research centers), medical doctors and school teachers. Among the country wide known names of women one can find the names of cosmonauts – Elena Kondakova (OVR), Svetlana Savitskaya (KPRF), and politician Irina Khakamada (SPS). Women contain 10.8% of the list of the KPRF, 10.4% of the list of Medved’, 10.2% of the list of the NDR and 9.6% of the list of the OVR. Once again the LDPR holds a special position where women represent only 2.7% of its list.
This aspect cannot be equally applied to every list, because some of these lists are made by political parties with established membership and grass-roots organizations, but some of them represent electoral blocs made by different organizations who do not always have fixed membership.
Meanwhile, relying only on the fact of membership mentioned in the list we can see the following picture. LDPR had the highest percentage of party members among the list of candidates (92.6%). Since the lists of this party have not been approved by CEC, KPRF has the leading position in this aspect (78% on the list of candidates are the party members ). The same list has 6.7% of the members from Agrarian Party and for 13.8 % of candidates any party affiliations were not mentioned. Yabloko’s list has 73.2% of the party members and 26.8 % of their candidates without any party affiliation. Both the SPS and OVR have a number of different organizations, participating in these electoral blocs, but they also have a significant number of people without any party affiliation - 48.6% and 37.9% respectively. At the same time in the list of NDR the party affiliation was not mentioned in the respect of 92.9% of its candidates. Usually, among people included in these lists of candidates and whose party affiliation was not mentioned, the majority represents the business community. This fact provides the opportunity to think that these are “potential sponsors” of the parties and blocs.
Only two lists have representatives from almost every subject of the Russian Federation. They are from the KPRF, whose list is missing representatives from only 4 regions, and the NDR, which does not have candidates from only 2 territories. The lowest representation in respect of the subjects of the Federation can be found in the lists of the Medved’ and Yabloko. These lists do not have candidates from 35 and 31 regions respectively, while the OVR and the SPS are missing representation from about 20 to 25 regions respectively. It is true that in every list there is a significant number of candidates who are from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The highest percentage of such people (who reside permanently in Moscow City, Moskovskaya oblast, St. Petersburg city and Leningradskaya oblast) belongs to the lists of the Medved’ and OVR . In their lists 41.8 and 41.4% respectively came from these 4 subjects of the Federation. The Yabloko comes next with 34.2%, then the KPRF with 30.3%, the SPS follows with 27.8%. The NDR has the most territorially diversified representation of candidates, with only 16% of its candidates come from these two major Russian cities and regions.
These lists provide very valuable information about the occupations of the candidates, and the analysis of this aspect makes clear where the parties and electoral blocs recruit their people from.
|Number of candidates in the list:||175||270||191||255||261||256||181|
|Deputies of the State Duma:||34 (19.4%)||98 (36.3%)||7 (3.6%)||3 (12.1%)||20 (7.7%)||32 (13%)||2 (1.1%)|
|Assistant Deputies and Personnel of the State Duma:||16 (9.1%)||23 (8.5%)||7 (3.6%)||0||3 (1.1%)||64 (26.1%)||3 (1.6%)|
|Employed in organs of executive power in the center and in the regions, including cities and counties:||13 (7.4%)||17 (6.3%)||10 (5.2%)||66 (25.9%)||50 (19.2%)||13 (5.2%)||35 (19.3%)|
|Members of the regional and city, county level legislative bodies:||22 (12.5%)||24 (8.8%)||8 (4.2%)||34 (13.3%)||29 (11.1%)||8 (3.3%)||8 (4.4%)|
|Employed in private sector of the Russian economy:||36 (20.6%)||40 (14.8%)||51 (26.7%)||68 (26.7%)||49 (18.7%)||46 (18.8%)||43 (23.7%)|
|Employed in Academia (universities, colleges and research centers):||20 (11.4%)||17 (6.3%)||22 (11.5%)||19 (7.4%)||29 (11.1%)||9 (3.7%)||11 (6%)|
|Employment listed in the parties and other political organizations:||4 (2.3%)||1 (0.3%)||23 (12%)||17 (6.7%)||18 (6.9%)||23 (9.3%)||15 (8.3%)|
|Employed in public organizations:||5 (2.8%)||2 (0.6%)||17 (8.9%)||15 (5.9%)||22 (8.4%)||4 (1.6%)||27 (14.9%)|
|Employed in professional unions:||3 (1.7%)||6 (2.2%)||3 (1.6%)||1 (0.4%)||16 (6.1%)||1 (0.4%)||5 (2.8%)|
|Employed in mass media:||10 (5.7%)||6 (2.2%)||3 (1.6%)||1 (0.4%)||16 (6.1%)||3 (1.2%)||6 (3.3%)|
|School teachers:||2 (1.1%)||7 (2.6%)||0||4 (1.6%)||0||3 (1.2%)||0|
As it can be seen from the table above, the largest number of current deputies of the State Duma comes from the list of KPRF - 98 or 36.3% of all candidates from this party. Just a third of this number, respectively 34, 32 and 31, have the Yabloko (19.4% from all candidates in their list), LDPR (13%) and NDR (12.1%). The Medved’ and SPS currently possess the lowest representation in the State Duma, having only 2 (1.1%) and 7 (3.6%) respectively.
The fact that a political party or electoral bloc has a significant number in the current State Duma has two sides. From one hand it shows the success on the previous elections, but it also puts the party in the position of responsibility (to some extent) for the recent crisis and forces the party to share the reputation of the Duma, which has never been too great in the public opinion. It is also obvious from the table that at this moment Russia has, at least, two or even three (new born one will be - the Medved’) political coalitions sharing control over the executive branch of power, so-called “parties of power.” They are NDR with 66 candidates coming from different executive state positions, mostly in the regions that makes up 25.9% of their list and OVR with 50 such people or 19.2% of their list, when the Medved’ has 35 or 19.3% of its list . The other four parties and blocs have significantly smaller numbers of people from this category, with the smallest representation in the lists of LDPR and SPS. People employed in the private sector of the Russian economy prevail in SPS with 51 (26.7%) and NDR with 68 (26.7%). The smallest percentage of such candidates (14.8%) exists in the list of KPRF.
The academia (university professors and researchers) has representation among all parties and blocs with the relatively small percentage in the lists of LDPR, the Medved’ and KPRF with respectively 3.7%, 6.0% and 6.3% and the NDR with 7.4 % in their lists. Leaders of public organizations and people working for the parties and political associations have the highest representation in the lists of the Medved’(respectively 8.3% and 14.9%) and SPS ( 8.9% and 12%). KPRF has the lowest percentage in this category (less than 1% from their list). Though the influence of Russian professional unions in elections is not so important as it is in some other European nations, it is still valuable allies. Leadership of unions is represented in the best way in the list of OVR - 16 candidates or 6.1% of the list. KPRF will be on the second position in this criteria with only 6 candidates or 2.2 % and the Medved’ with 5 or 2.8% of the list. It seems to us that people from the mass media are less represented in the coming elections in the lists of the parties and blocs than in the previous two Duma elections. Most of them is coming from the regions (neither Moscow city nor St. Petersburg, with exception of the list of the Medved’) and the largest number of them may be seen in the list of the Yabloko with 10 candidates (5.7% of the list) and the SPS with 9 candidates (4.7% of the list).
Brief summarization of each list that has been analyzed.
This party has the largest list of the candidates. Almost half of the list is occupied by people that already serve in the State Duma as Deputies, elected in 1995, or are working for Deputies as assistants, plus consultant and experts from the different Duma’s committees. In other words this is the list with the highest percentage of people (45.2%) already associated with the Duma and who have the experience to work in the Russian Legislature.
The list of KPRF has relatively less candidates from municipal legislative bodies 24 (8.8%) and regional, municipal executive organs - 17 or (6.3%). Meanwhile, from the point of who these people are in the regional executive and legislative bodies, the situation may not look so bad. The list of KPRF has 4 candidates who are currently working as the heads of the regional administrations: Tulskaya, Kemerovskaya oblasts or the deputy heads of regional administrations: Voronezhskaya oblast and Krasnodarsky kray. There are 6 candidates who work as vice-chairmen of the regional legislatures: Vologodskaya, Bryanskaya, Kurskaya, Kostromskaya oblasts, republics: Sakha (Yakutiya) and Kareliya. There are also 6 candidates who are on the leading executive positions in the cities and counties (raions), as well as 4 people who have the same legislative positions.
The electoral alliance of KPRF with the part of the Agrarian party leads to sufficient representation from people employed in agriculture and provides support from agricultural professional unions on the federal level, as well as in the regions: Moskovskaya, Sverdlovskaya oblasts.
KPRF is represented by 7 teachers (2.6% of the list), this is much more than in any other lists. Reflecting its social base of support KPRF has in its lists 5 retirees (pensioners) (1.8%) and 3 workers (1.1%).
The list of KPRF has 40 people employed in private sector of the economy. Among them several have important positions in the enterprises associated with agriculture and construction business. Moreover, the list contents the names of the president of the “Alba Bank,” general director of foreign trade company “Lemek”, the head of the information-analytical department of “Yukos-Moskva.”
After all corrections caused by voluntary withdrawals and ones imposed by the CEC in the list of KPRF 255 candidates remained, but in spite of this fact KPRF remains the largest one among all parties and blocs, participating in the Elections..
The weak side of the list of KPRF is the same as its strong side - there are many Deputies in the current State Duma. Will this serve to better or to worse for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation we will only know after the Elections.
On the opposite side from KPRF on the Russian political spectrum there will be the“Soyuz Pravykh Sil “- SPS (the Union of Right Forces). This is the electoral coalition of a great number of different political organizations. It is a product of many efforts of the so-called “young reformers” to join their forces together. The list originally had 191 candidates, who were coming from more than a dozen political organizations, such as Demokratichesky vybor Rossii - Democratic choice of Russia (DVR) which had 47 (24.6%) its representatives in the list, Svobodnye demokraty Rossii - Free Democrats of Russia (SDR) with 12 candidates (6.3%), Novaya Sila - New Force (NS) with 10 candidates (5.3%), Demokraticheskaya Rossiya -Democratic Russia (DR) - 8 candidates (4.2%), Rossiskaya partiya sotsialnoi demokratii - Russian party of social democracy (RPSD) - 6 (3.1%), Sotsial-federalistskaya partiya Rossii - Social-federalist party of Russia (SFPR) - 5 (2.6%) and some others with smaller representation.
However, the geographic distribution is not very impressive in this list. SPS does not have candidates from 25 subjects of the Russian Federation. It also has very small number of current Deputies of the State Duma - 7 or 3.6% of the list.
Most of the people from this list comes from the private sector of economy - 51 (26.7%). Another significant group of candidates works for political organizations, public associations, different foundations and centers, this is almost one third of the list.
The next sufficient group represents university faculty and researchers. This group has 22 candidates or 11.5% of the list. There are also 9 journalists (4.7%) in the list of SPS.
Meanwhile, the candidates from SPS do not have significant representation on the regional and municipal levels of executive and legislative power. There is only one candidate who has a leading position in the regional administration - Smolenskaya oblast. There are only two candidates who have the same positions on the city or county level. SPS does not have anybody from leadership in the regional legislative bodies.
Reading the list of SPS it is difficult to avoid the impression that this is a coalition of relatively young politicians whose glory and chance for power unfortunately is already in the past for them. It has two former prime-ministers: Yegor Gaidar and Sergei Kirienko, a former deputy prime-minister: Boris Nemstov, former ombudsman: Sergei Kovalyev, former minister Irina Khakamada. Consequently, the present conditions of the Russian economy will not be a good argument in their support. But the real level of trust to the people who were experimenting with the Russian society and country in general for the last several years will be seen on the Election day.
At the moment of the registration of the list by the CEC 155 candidates remained in it.
As it has already been mentioned, there are two or even three “parties of power” in Russia. The oldest one is “Our Home is Russia” - Nash Dom - Rossiya (NDR). This movement came into existence in the previous elections in 1995 as an element of the Kremlin plan to create two major blocs, supporting the course of reforms - one to the right from the center - NDR and another to the left - the so-called - “Ivan Rybkin Bloc”. The latter was a stillborn baby, but the former survived.
The list of NDR had originally 255 names ( the CEC has registered this list with only 216 names in it) and the best geographic distribution of the candidates. It has the third position in the number of Deputies of the current Duma. Remarkably it does not have any assistants of Deputies in its list, probably because it does not believe in nurturing politicians and just recruits them from those people who are already in some kind of power. Almost equal numbers of candidates are coming from business community and people from different levels of the state executive power.
Probably the most impressive part of the list of NDR is a set of names of current heads and deputy heads of regional administrations. There are 23 such candidates or 9% of the list. The regions where these people came from are the following: Saratovskaya, Vologodskaya, Voronezhskaya, Nizhegorodskaya, Omskaya, Tomskaya, Irkutskaya, Ivanovskaya, Novgorodskaya, Permskaya, Lipetskaya, Saxalinskaya oblasts; republics: Dagestan, Komi, Chuvashiya, Mordoviya; avtonomnye okruga: Ust’-Ordynski Buryatskii, Taimyrskii, Komi-Permyatskii, Yamalo-Nenetskii, Chukotskii (2 persons).
There are 16 heads of city and county level administrations, there are also 7 official representatives of the President of Russia in the regions. Finally there is a group of leaders of the regional legislative bodies, there are 8 such candidates. They are coming from Kaliningradskaya, Uliyanovskaya, Novgorodskaya, Kamchatskaya, Saxalinskaya oblasts and republics: Kabardino -Balkariya, Kareliya, Mapii-El.
Another impressive set of names is coming from the private sector of the Russian economy. There are 68 names in this set or 26.7% of the list. 11 people among them work in oil and gas companies (ONAKO, Severgasprom, Surgutgasprom, Astrakhangasprom, Uralgasservis and others) and 8 candidates are employed in construction business. The list contents the names of CEO of the giant industrial enterprises such as “Severstal,” “Cherepovetsky Azot,”“Chelyabinsky Traktornyi Zavod,” it also has three regional bankers.
Even in representation of candidates from academia (universities, research centers) the list of NDR does not spoil the reputation of “party of power.” If other lists primarily have names of professors and heads of departments, the list of NDR proudly presents 13 names of rectors, directors and pro-rectors (presidents and vice-presidents) of universities, and only 3 candidates are professors and heads of departments. The last group to be mentioned from the list of NDR is the group of leaders of different political and public organizations and associations – 32 candidates (12.6%).
The major weak point of NDR’s list is the impression that most of the people presented there do not seriously consider the possibility to change their occupations in the next few months. It is really hard to believe that many heads of regional administrations, presidents of large companies and even rectors of universities will want (in case of the success of NDR on the day of the Elections) to go to work in the State Duma. But if they really do not have such plans it means that their names in NDR’s list were placed only to lure electorate to this movement. Will such a method of agitation work, we shall see on December 19, 1999.
The original list of the candidates (261 names) from another “party of power” - “Otechestvo-Vsya Possiya” (Fatherland - All Russia) in many parts reminds the list of NDR, but it has much less geographic representation, missing candidates from 20 subjects of the Russian Federation.
As it has already been mentioned, the list of OVR was copied in its approach from the list of NDR. There is obviously the same idea - to attract the electorate through the regional leadership, directorate of large enterprises, rectors of universities and activists of different public and political organizations and associations. The distinguishing difference is only the significant group of leaders of the professional unions on both federal and regional levels - 16 candidates. The list of OVR has 20 names of Deputies of the current State Duma, and only 1 assistant Deputy and 2 consultants of the State Duma.
The executive branch of regional power is represented by 50 candidates (19% of the list). The heads of the regional administrations and their deputies are coming from 18 subjects of the Russian Federation. They are cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg; oblasts: Moskovskaya, Tverskaya, Belgorodskaya, Mumanskaya, Nizhegorodskaya, Irkutskaya; republics: Kareliya, Mordoviya, Karachaevo - Cherkessiya, Altay, and Khabarovskii kray. There are 10 heads and deputy heads of administration of cities, half of which is regional capitals: Arkhangelsk, Yaroslavl, Perm, Chita and Yekaterinburg.
There are 11 leaders of legislative bodies in regions: Tverskaya, Rostovskaya, Permskaya, Chelyabinskaya, Orenburgskaya, Sakhalinskaya oblasts, republics: Adygeya, Buryatiya; Primorsky kray and Xanty-Mansiisky avtonomnyi okrug. There are also 4 leaders in city’s legislative bodies, they are from Yakutsk, Sochi, Yekaterinburg, and Chelyabinsk.
It is easy to notice that some regions are represented by both executive and legislative bodies of power. It is also remarkable how executive power of some regions shared support to both OVR and NDR, delegating one deputy of the head of regional administration to one list and a second to another. These are such regions as Nizhegorodskaya, Irkutskaya, Permskaya, oblasts and republic Mordoviya.
The second significant set of names in the list of OVR comes from business community - 49 candidates (18.7%), and again we see primarily presidents, chairmen of councils of directors, heads of departments of companies, many of which are giants, they are: Volgogradsky Traktorny Zavod, Izhmash, Transaero, Yukos-Moskva, Lukoil.
In the group of the candidates employed in universities which has 16 people (together with people from the research institute this number will be 29 or 11.1% of the list) there are 6 rectors, 5 deans and heads of departments and only 4 regular faculty members.
As it has already been mentioned the most distinguishing characteristic of the list of OVR is the significant number of leaders of professional unions. Four of them are coming from the federal level including two secretaries of the Federation of Independent Professional Unions (FNPR) S. Isaev and T. Frolova, and 9 people represent regional associations of professional unions.
Meanwhile, if the list of NDR completely depends on the reaction of the electorate on their regional leaders, the list of OVR has another important point of attraction to voters. These are the first two names in the list with whom many associate the future of Russian politics. They are Yevgenii Primakov and Yurii Luzhkov. Many votes cast for this list will be brought by just these two persons. The future Presidential elections of 2000 will depend on the actual support of the electorate to this bloc.
In case of a sufficient success of OVR in the December elections Luzhkov and Primakov will get a chance to decide between them who will run in June 2000, and they will remain as one team. At the same time if there is a failure in the performance of OVR, these two people may split and choose different courses. This is why the number of votes cast for the list will have a profound effect on the future of the country, much more than just a number of Deputies that this bloc gets in the State Duma.
This bloc probably shows the last attempt of the Kremlin administration and people close to Yeltsin “to safe” the situation in the coming elections. The bloc was obviously formed in a big rash, as well as the list itself was composed in the same manner. How, for instance, to explain that in the part of the list called “Kol’tso” where Kirovskaya oblast was listed, there was no candidate from this region, but the person who actually lives in Kirov was listed in the part called “Opora”where other regions were represented.
The list of the Medved’ in its approach seems to be almost completely copied from two previously analyzed (NDR and OVR). The same reliance on regional elite, but it has been done in much less impressive manner. The original list (181 candidates) contents the names from only 54 subjects of the Russian Federation having the least diversified distribution of candidates throughout the country and the highest percentage from Moscow and St. Petersburg (including Moskovskaya and Leningradskaya oblasts).
From regional leaders in the list there may be seen names of deputy heads of the administrations of Tverskaya, Smolenskaya, Kurskaya oblasts, Primorskii kray and Evenkiiskii avtonomnyi okrug. There is only one leader of the regional legislature from Magadanskaya oblast. At the same time 7 high ranking officials from the federal level of executive power were recruited in the list. They are coming from the Ministry of Emergency Situations (including the first person in the list - Minister Sergei Shoigu), Federal Migration Service, Schetnaya Palata (Audit Chamber), Pensionnyi Fond (Pension Fund), Ministerstvo po nalogam i sboram (Ministry of taxes and collections). There are also three candidates that work for the Presidential Administration.
The same idea is to include some rectors of universities and some leaders of professional unions, but the implementation of the idea again is much less impressive. There are only three rectors of the universities and 5 leaders of professional unions.
The only distinguishing difference of this bloc is the fact that its founders were capable to recruit some journalists from the capital in the list. Among them there is a popular observer from channel TV - 6 Arina Sharapova and director of informational programs from “Maximum-radio” Aleksandr Abrakhimov. The decision to include them in the list was probably a good idea.
From the point of view of the representation of political parties or public organizations in the bloc it can be mentioned that majority of candidates who have such affiliation comes from three structures: Russian movement “Generation of Freedom” - 11 candidates (6%), different organizations of veterans of Afghanistan war - 9 (4.9%) and Russian Christian-Democratic party 7 (3.9%). All together this bloc has representatives from about 20 different organizations.
The bloc obviously has first three attractive names. Plus to Sergei Shoigu they are former athlete Aleksandr Karelin and the Head of the Research Center of the Interior Ministry, well known author Aleksandr Gurov. Will it be enough to get more than 5 percent of votes to get to the next Duma we shall see on the day of the Elections.
The list of the Yabloko originally had the smallest number of candidates - 175 (the CEC registered 165). The list also does not impress by its geographic representation. It does not have candidates from 31 subjects of the Russian Federation. However, it has the second largest group of Deputies of the current State Duma, as well as the second size of the group of candidates from the Duma personal of consultants, advisers and Deputy assistants. Consequently the group of people who are associated with the Duma have 50 names or 28.5% of the list of candidates. The business community is represented by 56 persons (20.6%). In most cases the people come from small and medium sized businesses and are not country-wide known.
At the same time the list of the Yabloko has no representatives from the heads of regional administrations or leaders of regional legislative bodies. As always, the Yabloko recruits sufficient amounts of support from the academia. It has 20 candidates who work for universities and research centers (11.4 % of the list).
The traditional base of support for the Yabloko, as well as the source for their candidates, are different types of specialists who may work in structures of regional executive power (11 candidates), 10 journalists, 10 practicing lawyers, 4 medical doctors and 2 school teachers. It also has a few people who work in public organizations or associations.
Generally, the Yabloko continues its line of politics appealing to their electorate and not has a good chance to get at least through the threshold of 5% of the votes. At the same time the Yabloko has no chance to be a major party in the next Duma. The image of the capricious leader of the party Grigorii Yavlinsky and the reputation of the intellectual young guys but without the “real life” experience will prevent them from a landslide success.
The list submitted by this party for registration in the CEC had 256 candidates with sufficient representation from the regions. There were 32 Deputies of the current Duma in it or 13 % of the list. However, the largest group in the list was composed from Deputy assistants and personnel of the party’s fraction in the State Duma - 64 names (26.1%). The significant part of the list (46 persons or 18.8%) was people from the private sector of economy, mostly small and medium sized enterprises. There were also 23 candidates (9.4%) employed in the party’s apparatus. Other categories were also represented by smaller number of candidates. For instance, university faculty and researchers had 9 positions in the list, medical doctors - 7, pensioners -7, workers - 4, journalists and students were represented by 3 candidates. The fact that the list had 7 currently unemployed persons represents some curiosity.
However, the denial of the registration by CEC of this list forced the leadership of LDPR to form the new electoral bloc - Bloc Zhirinovskogo with only 84 names submitted to the CEC for the consideration.
This story may seriously push down the chances of Vladimir Zhirinovskii to enjoy leadership of important fraction in the next State Duma and even to be elected as Deputy or to have any fraction, but there is a possibility that it will not change minds of his electorate, which has some obvious specifics.
In the conclusion of this article there are some general statements about the coming elections.
Russia still has no stable party system based on ideological differences. There are only two established parties that built on some type of ideologies: KPRF and Yabloko. So, the first choice that will make a Russian citizen come to vote: do you support to communists or you do not? If you do, to make a choice is almost easy, you have only a few pro-communist lists and the most attractive (because of moderate positions) will be the list of KPRF.
However, if you do not, you task is much harder. Of course, you can vote for SPS or the Yabloko if you believe in radical or almost radical economic reforms and liberal ideas. The Yabloko is already pretty well known, when SPS is a new attempt to build the organization which is planning to take positions to the right from the Yabloko. However, at the present time neither the Yabloko, nor SPS may pretend seriously on the control over the Russian Legislature. These structures are still too young and less represented in the regions remote from the capital areas of Moscow and St. Petersburg and popular only among highly educated specialists and businessmen in big cities. In the coming years, if they wish to become important players in the Russian politics, they have to work first of all in provinces and try to develop grass-roots organizations, to obtain people who will voice their ideas in concrete cities and counties. The reliance only on the “golden boys of the Russian democracy” unlikely will bring them to the success. In this regard the Yabloko has already accomplished a lot, but still many work lies ahead. About SPS we can not be sure that such an organization will even survive the coming elections.
Now, lets look at the so-called “center”. In the absence of clear ideological positions and well established parties for many members of the Russian elite the solution seems to be in attempt to include the elected regional leaders to lure electorate to vote for their lists. That is why slogan the “victory in elections lies in the provinces” is so popular. The so-called “political center” is overcrowded and has at least three major electoral blocs. All three tried to grab regional leaders of executive and legislative bodies, as many as they could, but obviously with different level of success. The champions were NDR and OVR, with the Medved’ status of only a “poor relative”.
Another obvious element of the technology of the coming electoral campaign was the attraction by leaders. There is the same story again, Russia has “parties” made around leaders, but not ideas. Many people will simply have to choose among “good man” Primakov, “almost good, but...” Chernomyrdin, “good minister-savior” Shoigu and so on. The problem with such kind of choice is that Yeltsin is used to be a “great democrat and fighter against communist nomenklatura” and Gaidar was a “brilliant economist”, Chubais was a “guarantor of reforms”, Nemtsov and Kirienko were “young hopes and such a smart guys”. What do people think about them today? The Russian politics is also overfilled with personal rivalries among leaders, use of the “dirty methods” of agitation. Meanwhile, this is a pretty much inevitable phenomenon when political scene is occupied by just people and not ideas.
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