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MOSCOW, October 26 (Itar-Tass) - The 7th congress of the A Just Russia party will open in Moscow on Saturday to consider and adopt a new version of the program, make amendments to the rules and elect leadership bodies. Fundamental changes to the structure of its leadership may prove the main result.
A Just Russia chairman Nikolai Levichev and the party’s leader, head of the parliamentary faction Sergei Mironov will make reports.
In a message to his fellow party members on the eve of the congress Mironov called for a “sober and self-critical analysis of what the party is today and where it stands.”
At the same time he firmly dismissed speculations by the party’s opponents.
“There are too many political fortune-tellers these days who keep claiming that the congress will be utter failure. I take this opportunity to tell all those fond of writing obituaries that the results of the A Just Russia congress will leave not the slightest chance for anybody to expect the party’s early funeral or say that the ‘song about justice’ has been sung,” the party’s official website quotes the party’s leader as saying.
At the beginning of October a number of senior party functionaries, including the leader of its St. Petersburg chapter, Oksana Dmitriyeva, called for ending dual rule in the party and for returning Mironov to the position of A Just Russia chairman.
Mironov has led the party since the moment it was founded in 2006. At the party’s congress in April 2011 Mironov, at that time Federation Council speaker, ceded the position of chairman to the head of the State Duma faction, Nikolai Levichev. Mironov said that reshuffle allowed for better rearranging the party’s forces during the parliamentary and presidential election campaigns.
Many experts say that at the 7th congress Mironov and Levichev may change places again. Mironov has said already that he would be prepared to take the post of chairman, if the delegates vote for him. All personnel issues will be addressed on the second day of the congress, October 27, behind closed doors.
It is expected that amendments to be made to the Charter will specify the powers of the party’s chairman and of the parliamentary faction leader.
“We shall change the rules to ensure that all collective bodies of the party be worthy of their name, that we shall have more democracy and that nobody should have any reason to say that select few make decisions at their sole discretion then enforce them with an iron hand,” Mironov said.
The party was created on October 28, 2006 when three political entities - the Party of Pensioners, the Russian Party of Life and Rodina - united under the A Just Russia logo.
The past two years were a no easy period in A Just Russia’s history. A number of high-profile figures have left it. Moreover, the Party of Pensioners and Rodina re-established their independent status. Nevertheless a Just Russia performed rather successfully in the 2011 Duma elections, when it collected 13.4 percent of the votes and received 64 seats to form the third largest faction in the lower house. Also, A Just Russia has 285 representatives in the regional parliaments and more than 5,000 in local bodies of self-government.