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Expert call russian popular front program populist

October 25, 2011, 12:39 UTC+3

A 185-page “Program of People’s Initiatives” was posted on the United Russia party website on Monday

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MOSCOW, October 25 (Itar-Tass) — A 185-page “Program of People’s Initiatives” was posted on the United Russia party website on Monday that experts wrote on behalf of the All-Russian Popular Front (ONF). Nine sections of the “people’s initiatives” embrace everything: from politics and sports to cinema and economics. Experts have found the proposals populist and differing little from the opposition proposals. The opposition members are certain that the “people’s program” will be relevant only until the voting day on December 4.

The specially created Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (ISEPS) was engaged in the development of the “people’s program,” the Kommersant daily writes. The institute attracted to this end 600 experts, as well as summarised more than a million of citizens’ wishes who expressed their views on the Internet. Most of the proposed measures are laid down in the ONF program in the form of wishes or instructions. The others are expressed in the form of promises.

That is, the “status of the program is absolutely unclear,” head of the Centre for Political Technologies Boris Makarenko told Kommersant. If it is a program of the ruling party then “such a party cannot speak such a language: it would be good, if only it is done this way.” The ruling party, in the experts’ view, should clearly say in the program “what it will do, how and in what time.” However, the “people’s program contains nothing of the kind.”

“The people’s program” contains not only certain ideas of the opposition parties, but also election promises of the past years given by United Russia members. “The promises are laid down in another program, although popular, but totally not instrumental, that is, impracticable,” member of the Political Committee of the Yabloko party Sergei Ivanenko said. According to his forecast, the “new people’s program” of the ruling party will exit exactly until December 4, and everybody will forget about in on December 5.”

According to the United Russia leadership, originally it was planned to take this document as a basis for the election program, but at the last moment they decided to be guided by theses of the speeches of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin made at the United Russia congress, RBC Daily writes. The ISEPS explained to the publication that after the congress the program underwent editorial changes for the new leader Dmitry Medvedev. In particular, the word ‘modernisation’ started to be actively used in it.

“The program has little aspects that would make it different from the opposition parties’ proposals,” believes President of the Strategy 2010 Foundation Mikhail Remizov who is quoted by the newspaper. “The program is populist in its content, but it is with it that Putin will run at the 2012 presidential election. And the ONF will become a foothold from which he will electioneer,” believes Director General of the Centre for Political Information Alexei Mukhin.

The document is written literally about everything – about the economy and social sphere, about the political system and administration, culture and arts, pensioners and youth are not overlooked, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Experts are certain: the problem is that the program is offered for a party that has been ruling for more than a decade. And which has not mobilised itself to this day to implement these initiatives.

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