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Party of Veterans holds congress in Moscow

September 22, 2012, 14:05 UTC+3

The founding congress of the Party of Veterans has opened in Moscow

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MOSCOW, September 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The founding congress of the Party of Veterans has opened in Moscow.

Its participants intend to establish a centrist party that takes positive ideas, removing incompatible extremes, from each world ideology -- liberalism, conservatism and socialism, as its draft programme says.

The Veterans of Russia want the political reform to be continued. In particular, they insist on removing the word "successive" from Article 81 of the Russian Constitution (on election of Russian president), thus removing the possibility for one person to be elected as president more than twice.

The party suggests lowering the barrier to enter the State Duma and legislatures of various levels to three percent of votes, forming Russian government from parliament party representatives, returning the line "against all" to ballots, holding TV debates with the participation of all candidates and giving the right to citizens for a vote of no-confidence against judges at polls.

In the economic area, the veterans favour stronger state support for industry and farming.

According to them, a pension must amount to 60 percent of the former wage.

The programme also specifies measures against corruption, such as setting up a new special service and broader using of a polygraph (a lie detector).

The basis of the party is the status of a veteran. However, the draft charter does not stipulate that the status is needed to become a member of the party. It says a Russian citizen no younger than 18 who recognizes the programme and the charter can join the party.

Honoured guests at the congress are pilot and cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko, who is twice Hero of the Soviet Union, and army general Viktor Yermakov, a former commander of Army 40 and Soviet deputy defence minister.

Ildar Ryazapov, who participated in a counter-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus, is elected chairman of the congress.

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