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KPRF to name presidential candidate at December 17 Congress

November 24, 2011, 16:40 UTC+3

The Communists said they were ready for cooperation with Just Russia, but on KPRF terms

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MOSCOW, November 24 (Itar-Tass) — The Communist Party (KPRF) will name its candidate for the post of Russian president at its Congress on December 17, first deputy chairman of the Communist Party Ivan Melnikov said in an online interview to

"Perhaps, I'll be the first to tell you about the plans to hold our Congress on December 17," Melnikov said.

He confirmed that KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov was the most likely candidate.

"We'll hold our plenary session on the eve of the Congress, as always, and have a serious discussion of our decision. We do not conceal that KPRF organizations are quite unequivocal, everybody is nominating Gennady Andreyevich, although he himself made more cautious remarks, saying "let's see the results of the December 4 elections.

"I predict that Gennady Andreyevich will be named the KPRF candidate for president, in the first place because he is best prepared for fulfilling the duties of president of the Russian Federation. And also because we're taking part in the election not just for the sake of participating, but in order to win," Melnikov said.

Meanwhile, the Communists said they were ready for cooperation with Just Russia, but on KPRF terms.

The confirmation came from the KPRF representative during the televised election debate with Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov. On that day, KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov did not come for meeting with Mironov on a Russia-1 channel program (presented by anchor Vladimir Solovyov). The Communists were represented by secretary of the KPRF Central Committee, and first secretary of the Young Communists' League (Komsomol) Yuri Afonin.

"Where's your Party leader Gennady Andreyevich Zyuganov; why didn't he come?" Mironov said, "Is it not a recurrence of 1996, when many words were said about the wish to take the helm, and then they quietly gave it away. This puts one on guard," Mironov asked Afonin.

Afonin said there were just ten days before the election, so "the crucial issue was not the difference or likeness of the programs, but the matter of coming to power."

He reminded that according to the prognoses of independent sociologists, the KPRF paces ahead of Just Russia in all large cites. He also recalled that a month ago, before the beginning of the election campaign, when Zyuganov argued with Mironov in the same studio, the number of viewers who supported Zyuganov exceeded the number of Mironov's supporters by five times.

"The difference among voters is the same," he noted, "if we ensure honest and fair elections on December 4, the Communist Party will be able to win a majority for the first time in Russian history, and Just Russia will clear the 7-percent threshold. There will be a historical prospect to set up a leftists people's patriotic government based on the KPRF, which might invite the most talented representatives of Just Russia.

Both parties call for free education, health care and housing, as well as fair wages, decent pensions and land for farmers. Both parties have professionals worthy of working in the Cabinet. And both Parties wish to build a "new socialism” of the 21st century.

According to Mironov's interpretation, a new socialism is the "order which acknowledges private property and market economy, but not a market society; it is the order where human interests are a measure for all, where any government answers to people while understanding that it is for people, not vice versa. Our socialism is true socialism, fully cleansed of Stalinism," he underlined.

"If we look ahead, we must know that it is not the older generations who come out with Stalin's portraits, but young people," the Komsomol leader retorted, "Stalin is popular because youths no longer recall the reprisals, but think about a powerful state which was able to prepare for war in a decade though economic mobilization and win together with the Soviet people."

"Your words smell of penal colony’s dust and are therefore terrible," Mironov replied emotionally. "It is unclear why you, who seem to be our leftist neighbors, keep trying to look back; you absolutely do not wish to think what is happening now and are absolutely unprepared to make a real bid for power. I'm perfectly convinced that the KPRF and Just Russia's merge is historically inevitable, but judging by the position of the KPRF's leader, it is impossible a present."

When asked if Just Russia would support the KPRF candidate at the presidential elections, Mironov reminded that he had repeatedly offered the LDPR and the KFRF to come out in a bloc in order not to allow the monopoly of United Russia.

"As for the presidential election, we've already stated our position: we won't support the candidate to be nominated and supported by United Russia. Our party will decide on participating in the presidential election on December 10, when we hold the second part of the pre-election Congress," Mironov said.

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