MOSCOW, November 10 (Itar-Tass) — The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) is going to the elections with a centre-left program, which it is ready to implement in the shortest time possible, the Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said during the pre-election televised debate on the Rossiya-1 TV channel on Wednesday.
“Our team has communists and non-partisan, and our task is to implement the centre-left policy,” he said, noting that the CPRF has such an experience. Zyuganov recalled how after the 1998 default, Yevgeny Primakov agreed to head the government on the condition that it will include Communist Yuri Maslyukov. “They pursued a smart policy to support the industry and businesses, and pulled the country back from the brink,” said the Communist Party leader, adding that the country had then only 6 billion in gold and currency reserves and a barrel of oil cost 15 US dollars, and at the present time it has “in the till” 540 billion dollars.
According to Zyuganov, the Communist Party proposes “15 steps to a decent, prosperous, educated and healthy life.” This is first and foremost, the nationalisation of mineral resources and the introduction of progressive income tax rate. “There will be no civil war. Ready to work and share the profits, as they say – go ahead, and if not ready – we will conduct auditing, buy the company, everything will be fair,” he promised. The rich, according to Zyuganov will remain, because “it will be a rich country, but without the poverty stricken and the oligarchs.”
The Communists have also proposed to introduce a state monopoly on alcohol, to seriously address the issue of processing of wood, with which at present “all the cellars from Japan to Finland are overstocked,” to increase state support for agriculture and the military-industrial complex, the Army and Navy. “Today, the issue of security is much more acute than before,” said Zyuganov, noting that the population of the country where one-third of the planet’s main resources are concentrated, constitutes only 2 percent of the world’s population. “We will be torn to shreds as soon as they take our nuclear tooth out,” he said.
According to Zyuganov, the Communist Party has also developed a serious program of education, support of science and culture, patriotic education.
Zyuganov also confirmed that the Communists are not ready to forget the name of Stalin, although admit the “extremities” and mistakes of that era. “We have apologized and agreed not to repeat it, but we must know history,” he said.
“In the event of our victory at the elections we will implement our program quickly, competently, and without any repressions,” the Communist Party leader promised to the program host Vladimir Solovyov with whom in the absence of opponents he had to hold the debate.
The CPRF is the second major political party in the Russian Federation. The party was founded in February 1993 at a ‘Second Extraordinary Congress’, declaring itself as the successor to the Communist Party of the RSFSR.
The CPRF is led by Gennady Zyuganov, who co-founded the party in early 1993 with senior former Soviet politicians Yegor Ligachev and Anatoly Lukyanov among others. Zyuganov had been a critic of Alexander Yakovlev, the “godfather of glasnost,” on the CPSU Central Committee, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 he became active in the Russian “national-patriotic” movement, being the chairman of the National Salvation Front (some authors call him a nationalist). Early external collaborators included Eurasianist philosopher Alexander Dugin who helped to draft earlier party documents and pushed the party in the direction of nationalism.
A new umbrella movement was formed on the initiative of the CPRF on August 7, 1996. It was called People’s Patriotic Union of Russia (NPSR) and consisted of more than 30 left-wing and right-wing nationalist organizations, such as the Russian All-People’s Union led by Sergey Baburin. Gennady Zyuganov was its chairman. He was supported by the party as a candidate for Russia’s presidency during the 1996 presidential elections and 2000 presidential elections. During the presidential elections of 1996, the CPRF was supported by prominent intellectual Alexander Zinovyev (a former Soviet dissident who became a supporter of communism at the time of Perestroika). Another prominent supporter of the CPRF is the physicist Zhores Alferov, who received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2000.
Zyuganov called the 2003 elections a ‘revolting spectacle’ and accuses the Kremlin of setting up a “Potemkin party,” Rodina, to steal its votes.
CPRF’s former members include many popular politicians, who seceded after their ambitions on party leading collided with Zyuganov’s, who held the stronger support. Gennady Seleznev in 2001, Sergei Glazyev in 2003 and Gennady Semigin in 2004 were the most notable “dissenters.” Commentators characterize the dominating Zyuganov wing as nationalist or ‘popular-patriotic’, rather than orthodox Marxist-Leninist. Some observers consider only Richard Kosolapov’s minority faction of the CPRF as ideologically communist per se.
The Russian Federal Registration Service says that 164,546 voters have registered with the government as members of the CPRF. The official ideology of the party is Communism, Marxism-Leninism and patriotism. The party has emphasized its uniquely Russian character and it has consistently invoked Russian patriotism and nationalism in addition to the official Marxism-Leninism of the CPSU. Unlike the CPSU after 1956, the CPRF celebrates the rule of Joseph Stalin. On the occasion of Stalin’s birthday on 21 December 2010, Zyuganov called for the “re-Stalinisation” of Russian society in an open letter to President Dmitry Medvedev.