MOSCOW, November 10 (Itar-Tass) — The head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) faction in the State Duma lower house parliament, Igor Lebedev, presented in Moscow on Wednesday a report entitled “A New National Policy.” The document, he said, is, in essence, a program with which the party will run at the elections.
The Liberal Democrats state in the document that the main drawback of the national policy has been and remains “the refusal from the creation of a national state of the Russian people and accelerated development of the national marginal lands and the national republics at the expense of resources that could be used for the development of Russians.”
Therefore, the Liberal Democratic Party proposes to fix in the Constitution, the “state-forming status of the Russian people.” In addition, the document emphasises the need to change the national-territorial system of Russia and “in the long term aim to transfer to the system of governorates (provincial administrations) that would have no traces of a special national status.”
A separate section of the program is devoted to migration processes. In particular, the Liberal Democratic Party proposes to strictly tie the number of foreign workers to the availability of jobs, and recruit foreign workers through special recruitment agencies at the RF embassies abroad.
Igor Lebedev also promised to fight for the abolition of Article 282 of the RF Criminal Code that provides punishment for inciting ethnic hatred.
The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia since its founding in 1991, has been led by the charismatic and controversial figure Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Opposing both communism and the “wild” capitalism of the 1990s, the party scored a major success in the 1993 Russian Duma elections, receiving a plurality vote. In the latest elections in 2007, the party received 8.14 percent of the vote, giving it 40 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party’s brand and organisation are centred around the personality of its leader Zhirinovsky. It is associated with strong nationalist stances and a law and order focus. Officially, it describes itself as a centrist, pro-reform democratic party and calls for a mixed economy and a revival of Russia’s great power status.
The party is in alliance with several parties in the former Soviet republics, including Armenia, Belarus, Estonia and Ukraine. Its allies in Estonia support the rights of the Russian speaking minority. In 2003, the party claimed 600,000 members and had issued 475,000 party cards. According to a 2008 survey by Colton, Hale and McFaul, 4 percent of the Russian population are loyalists of the party.