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MOSCOW, September 5 (Itar-Tass) — The Just Russia Party has confirmed its offer to the Communists to set up a pre-election alliance, and is ready to negotiate over the single presidential candidate, Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov told reporters on Monday.
Mironov, however, stopped short of supporting the candidacy of Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov to the post of new head of state. "We'll wait and see. Perhaps, we'll find arguments to convince the KPRF (Communist Party) to support our nominee," he said.
In any case, Mironov believes cooperation between the KPRF and Just Russia within the framework of the parliamentary and presidential election campaigns (in 2011 and 2012) is mutually beneficial, in the first place from the point of view of counteracting the United Russia Party.
"I don't see any reasons not to forge such an alliance. We'll jointly combat the monopoly of United Russia, conduct joint monitoring and control on the voting day.
On August 23, Just Russia Party chairman Nikolai Levichev brought forward a proposal to the KPRF to set up an alliance of leftist forces. He did not clarify the essence of the alliance. According to Levichev, the political parties will not participate in the election with one party list, but "will interact to record a real result at the election, so that no voters' ballots are stolen from them."
For his part, KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov told reporters his Party would be ready to discuss an alliance after Just Russia renounced the conciliatory position concerning United Russia, supported the KPRF's program and its "peoples' referendum," and refused to vote for the program of the president and the prime minister.
First Deputy Chairman of the KPRF Ivan Melnikov added another demand - unconditional and clear support of the candidate for presidency from the Communist Party.
Secretary of the presidium of the KPRF's Central Committee Sergei Obukhov said "we're ready to discuss the single candidate representing a broad spectrum, Gennady Zyuganov by name. The Communist Party earlier decided that Zyuganov would be presidential candidate with any outcome (of the parliamentary) election."
"This is not an issue for discussion," Obukhov said.
Deputy chairman of the KPRF's Central Committee Vladimir Kashin said however, that the most acceptable move would be to discuss the issue between the parties first, and then make statements for the press. Otherwise, it looks like populism, the politician said.
Also on Monday, Just Russia said it would insist on dismissing Alexander Babakov as deputy speaker of the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament. In July, Just Russia expelled Babakov from its ranks after he joined All-Russian Popular Front.
Mironov said he did not think United Russia, which has an overwhelming majority in the State Duma, would allow to oust Babakov: "I asked Boris Gryzlov (Duma speaker and leader of the United Russia faction) about it beforehand. He told me with a smile: "it's your right to raise an issue, and ours not to consider it."
He assured that Just Russia would call for Babakov's resignation anyway, even while knowing United Russia's position.
"We'll propose a new candidacy for the post of deputy speaker. It will be a Just Russia faction member," he said.
Mironov denied a split in Just Russia.
"There have been no ultimatums. A normal Party work is underway, including the preparations of the lists. We resolve all issues collectively," Mironov said, criticizing the media reports about alleged split in Just Russia and the mass exodus from the Party.
"They've unleashed an information war against us," Mironov said.
As an example, he cited the issue of a false Just Russia newspaper in the Altai territory with complete connivance of the local authorities and law-enforcement bodies.