MOSCOW, November 11 (Itar-Tass) —— The leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky was indignant on Thursday when he had to engage in election debate on the state-run Russia-24 TV channel with what he said was a low-level representative of the ruling United Russia party.
The United Russia delegated lawyer and TV anchor Andrei Makarov to rival Zhirinovsky.
“In a normal country party leaders usually meet. I am a party leader and I came while they sent an employee although he is a good specialist,” Zhirinovsky said.
Makarov replied that only one man, Zhirinovsky, has the right to speak out for the LDPR while the United Russia believes “I can speak about the Tax Code.”
However on Wednesday the United Russia delegated nobody to debate with Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov who said he was stunned by that.
Zhirinovsky was also dissatisfied with the time of the debate and said most people are on their way home from office at six o’clock in the afternoon.
He said the tax system in Russia “strangles the producer” and called to free small businesses from all taxes for at least two years. He described the value added tax as the most harmful and proposed to “introduce tax-free economy in the Far East.” However he called to introduce progressive personal income tax but free people who monthly earn up to 10,000 rubles (330 US dollars) from paying the tax at all.
Makarov urged to refrain from populist calls and said the United Russia is working to improve the living standards in the country with its tax policy.
Zhirinovsky responded the laws initiated by the ruling party do not work. “There is the law on trade which does not work. A good law was passed on medicines. You promised the medicines will be domestic and of high quality, but they are all imported and fakes are everywhere. You adopted the law and you are responsible for it,” he said.
On the eve of the debates the United Russia which refused to participate in the debate before the 2007 election promised it would fight against populism. “We participate in the debates to show to the voters the difference between our real deeds to resolve the problems of people and the words of the opponents,” UR first deputy secretary of the presidium of the General Council Sergei Zheleznyak told reporters. “We are ready for a serious discussion with opponents of the ways to overcome the problems that impede a civilized development of our society. But we shall strictly oppose any populism and adventurism of our opponents and will not allow them to deceive our citizens with unfeasible promises,” he said.