MOSCOW, June 10 (Itar-Tass) —— The participants in the forthcoming June 12 rally that will follow the March of Millions street procession will be asked to approve of what the organizers have called The Manifesto of Free Russia. The decision was made by the organizing committee, one of its members, co-chairman of the Moscow office of the Solidarity movement, Sergei Davidis, has told Itar-Tass. He published the text of the manifesto in his LiveJournal blog.
In part, the document declares the creation of a coordinating council of representatives of various political forces and civil society. This committee will “assume the responsibility for preparing and holding protest actions and peaceful pressures on the authorities.”
“The opposition tried to create such a committee last winter, when the civil movement was created, but that was a bad attempt. A truly representative body has not been created to this day,” Davidis told Itar-Tass. “The manifesto says the coordinating council should be elected through a transparent procedure, by open ballot,” he said. Davidis acknowledged that the technology of such elections was still to be devised. “At the moment it is just an idea,” he explained.
The manifesto notes “the importance of the presence of our associates (opposition-minded) in the bodies of legislative power.” In fact, the Opposition has in fact dropped the slogan, voiced at the previous protest rallies – ‘Hand in Your Mandate!’” At the same time the Opposition sees the sole function the current parliament is to play in drafting a new parliamentary election law that would guarantee the election of a new parliament through fair and transparent elections.”
The Opposition believes a new parliament would “propose for a referendum a draft of Russia’s new Constitution that would considerably reduce the duration of the same person’s presidency (one six-year term or two four year terms), give the parliament wider powers in forming the Cabinet of Ministers and conducting parliamentary investigations, adopt a new law on the presidential election and set an election date, adopt laws on local self-government and direct elections of governors, a law easing the rules of holding referendums and a law on reforming courts, prosecutors’ offices, investigation and police and the dismissal of corrupt officials.”
Davidis said the Manifesto of Free Russia was signed by Left Front Leader Sergei Udaltsov, chess master Garry Kasparov, co-chairman of the unregistered party of People’s Freedom Boris Nemtsov, State Duma member Ilya Ponomaryov, Khimki forest campaigner Yevgeniya Chirikova, one of the leaders of Russian nationalists Alexander Belov and others.