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Split not threaten Russian Communist Party, its leader not under threat of dismissal

December 10, 2012, 18:01 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila

MOSCOW, December 10 (Itar-Tass) — A split does not threaten the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), which is the largest opposition parliamentary party in Russia, and nothing jeopardizes the positions of the party’s leader, Gennady Zyuganov, perpetual for 20 years, the experts believe. Commenting on the recent meeting of the Communist members, who came out against Zyuganov, the experts noted that the splits were numerous for 20 years that the party exists, but the Communist leader overcame them skillfully. This fact certainly does not mean that all party members are satisfied with Zyuganov. Many rank-and-file Communist members find the renovation of the party and its leadership necessary, but this factor will hardly affect the results of an anniversary congress of the party in February 2013, when the party’s leader, who, by the way, is also suitable for the Russian state authorities, will be re-elected for sure.

Last Saturday, right two Communist conferences were held in Moscow. The Communist members, who are in opposition to the CPRF leadership, demanded Gennady Zyuganov’s dismissal, and the members loyal to him in the Moscow city committee of the Communist Party met for the conferences.

The non-partisans and representatives of the young party KPSS, the party Communists of Russia, many members of which were CPRF members before, but were expelled for the attempts to split it, were participating in the alternative meeting. In particular, former deputies of the State Duma from the CPRF Vladislav Yurchik, Valentin Nikitin, member of the CPRF Central Committee Vladimir Ulas, former “red” governors Vladimir Tikhonov and Mikhail Mashkovtsev were participating in the meeting. They said that the “the irremovability of the leader” discredits the CPRF and urged the delegates at an upcoming 15th congress to elect a new leader of the party.

Valentin Nikitin criticized Zyuganov that the latter “passed to the parliamentary principles instead of the Lenin-declared principles of the struggle between the classes.” The stepping away from the Lenin ideals was generally the keynote of critical remarks. Zyuganov was blasted for “state patriotism”, “nationalism”, “God- seeking” and the veneration to the Belt of Our Lady. The Communist oppositionists called to return from Russian nationalism to internationalism and the world revolution, from religion to the teachings of Marxism and Leninism and scientific atheism, from autocracy in the party to the principles of the debates, which leader of the October Revolution Vladimir Lenin proclaimed.

According to the splitters in the party, for 20 years of the existence of the party “the CPRF failed to become a locomotive of the working class and lead the struggle against the bourgeois regime.”

As many as 183 people were participating in the meeting. Sixty-three of them were the delegates of a founding revival-unification congress of the Communist Party of Russia in February 1993. Some of them were already expelled from the party.

The delegates at the Moscow report-and-election CPRF meeting, which was organized in retaliation to a meeting of the Communist opponents to Zyuganov, named the actions of their former fellow party members and new political parties of the Communist wing “as an attempt of the Russian presidential administration to split up the CPRF.” “We know that now the non-partisans met in Izmailovo on the instructions from the Kremlin political strategists to launch the struggle against Zyuganov and the Central Committee of our party,” first secretary of the Moscow city committee of the CPRF, State Duma deputy Valery Rashkin said at the conference. He noted that the attempts were already taken before to split the Russian Communist Party, but all of them failed. The delegates of the CPRF meeting decided to state about their support to Gennady Zyuganov last Saturday. All 204 delegates approved unanimously the candidacy of the CPRF leader.

The members of the CPRF Central Committee, who called for the replacement of the party’s leadership and its leader Gennady Zyuganov last Saturday, will not be re-elected in the Central Committee of the party at a congress in February, after that they will be most likely stripped of their party membership certificates, secretary of the CPRF Central Committee, State Duma deputy Sergei Obukhov told Itar-Tass on Monday. He confirmed that there were 3-4 members of the Central Committee among the breakaways. “They will not just be re-elected in the CPRF Central Committee in February,” because the procedure of expulsion from the CPRF Central Committee is sophisticated, Obukhov said.

This protest of Zyuganov’s rivals will not result in a rift in the CPRF and will not undermine his positions, the experts said with confidence.

“On the one hand, the problem of personnel renovation is ripen in the CPRF, on the other hand, the state authorities are seeking to put possible reshuffles under their control,” political expert Pavel Salin believes. “But this is not a split, because no members of the party were participating in the alternative meeting,” he said. All renegades, who could have threatened the CPRF integrity, were purged from the party a long time ago, he remarked.

“For Zyuganov and the CPRF this does not pose any threat,” the Novye Izvestia quoted political expert Valery Khomyakov as saying. “People realized a long time ago that Zyuganov is the main keeper of the Communist brand. There were many attempts to oust the KPRF leader for 20 years. All began with Ivan Rybkin’s bloc in 1995, when they wanted the then speaker of the State Duma to seize the votes from Zyuganov. This failed. Then there was a project with the then State Duma Speaker, Gennady Seleznev. It was abortive again. And new attempts will bring nothing,” Khomyakov noted.

“Zyuganov learnt well the lessons of his predecessors Stalin and Khrushchev, who were keeping the Communist Party’s staff under the thumb,” the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily quoted Deputy Director of the Centre of Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin as saying. “Exactly like Stalin, Zyuganov unleashes periodically new party purges, for instance, under the banner of the struggle against ‘the neo-Trotskyism’. This measure permits to rid the party of enemies and rivals timely. But today the expelled members are not executed, and this factor causes a good deal of problems,” he said.

The newspaper believes that the precedence with former deputy Vladislav Yurchik, who was expelled from the party allegedly for the violation of the party’s charter in 2010, became the main headache for the CPRF. The Communist opposition members claimed that the true reason for this incident was Yurchik’s refusal to hand in his deputy mandate in favour of a certain businessman. In retaliation Yurchik filed a lawsuit and proved that he did not violate the charter and was reinstated in the party. “After that incident those members discontent with the party’s leadership were ignored: they are not expelled, but are just forgotten. Now there are already 59,000 of such forgotten members,” Communist member Yevgeny Shabayev said.

“There were numerous attempts to split up the CPRF. But this time the meeting was a mosaic from the pieces of previous splits rather than being staged by the Kremlin,” a reliable source in the CPRF told Itar-Tass.

The source said that this is not a new split. “The debates continue at the lower and middle levels in the party, but an anniversary congress will be held without any serious changes in February,” he said with confidence.

He has made the following forecast for the results of the CPRF congress, “Some ritual renovation and rejuvenation among the top party functionaries will take place, but nothing will undermine Zyuganov’s positions.”