Putin's Challenger

The head of the Russian Communist Party, Gennad Zyuganov, promotes his party's program

19/10/2011 | 18:30 - 20:00 | DGAP | Invitation only


Category: Russia, Political System

The Chief of the Russian Communist Party (KPRF), Gennady Zyuganov, is believed to be the only formidable rival to the Kremlin Chief Vladimir Putin and his governing party United Russia. The parliamentary elections are scheduled for December 4, 2011. The Communist Party of Russia may obtain around a quarter of the votes cast in the upcoming elections. Midway through the election campaign, Zyuganov came to Berlin to present and discuss his political program with a group of recognized experts and the public at large.

Zyuganov started off by giving a highly critical review of the current inner political and economic situation in his country. In case of electoral victory (which he seemingly thinks is impossible), he is going to curb corruption, bolster research and educational institutions, and restore Russia’s largely lost industrial capacity. In addition, his agenda includes enhancing social security and improving justice. This requires pursuing a dramatically new social economic policy with more intense state regulatory activity.

In the realm of foreign policy, Zyuganov appears to support turning more strongly to China. In the course of conducting reforms in his country, he would prefer to follow the Chinese economic model. He observed that the economic crisis has exposed many weaknesses in the European liberal economic model. At the same time, Zyuganov emphasized that “there is no alternative to the strategic partnership with the West.”

According to Zyuganov, the Communist Party of Russia has invited external election watchdogs for the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections. Approximately 100,000 electoral districts throughout Russia require around 500,000 electoral observers in order to avoid possible electoral fraud. He labeled the swap of offices between Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev as “a theater of two actors.”

In the follow-up hour-long discussion, Zyuganov castigated corruption among the Russian government, criticized Mikhail Gorbachev for the collapse of the Soviet Union, spoke about the potential for the Arab Spring to spread to the post-Soviet space, and praised the anti-corruption policies of Russian neighbor state Belarus. Importantly, Zyuganov fully supported enhancing the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. 

dgap info
Most Read