MOSCOW, November 25 (Itar-Tass) — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had a meeting with leaders of the Duma faction of the United Russia Party (UR) on Thursday to sum up the results of the work of the fifth Duma. Putin warned UR members against the giving of promises, which they will not be able to fulfil, gave three instructions concerning their future work and said that if the Russian parliament got “amorphous,” this might lead to the repetition in Russia of the economic problems facing Europe.
Putin, who effectively combines the posts of the head of government and of the non-party leader of United Russia, had a meeting with the leaders of the UR faction in the Duma, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The UR internal problems were not the only ones they discussed. Putin summed up the results of the four-year work of the parliament and said that the domination of the ruling party in the lower chamber of parliament was a key condition for ensuring stability, needed for overcoming the crisis.
UR should work for achieving the maximum results at the parliamentary elections, scheduled for December 4, in order “not to allow the parliament to be amorphous,” as Putin put it, the newspaper continues. He appealed to the UR legislators to return to the parliament late in December with the maximum number of the mandates and cited as an example the difficult situation facing the United States and the European countries. There is no consolidation of the political forces in those countries, similar to what Russia has. This means that the executive bodies do not enjoy strong support of the legislators. Hence erronneous decisions, the assuming of social commitments which cannot be fulfilled, as well as the growing state debt.
Putin urged the UR leaders to fight for victory at the Duma elections, the RBK daily writes. The UR rating is going down, and in this situation the UR leaders would be happy to get not the constitutional majority, but just a simple parliamentary majority (50 per cent plus one vote). Vladislav Surkov, deputy head of the presidential administration, spent the whole of the last week, explaining to them that it would be a good result, the RBK daily writes.
Andrei Vorbyov, head of the UR electoral commission, spoke after the meeting on behalf of all the participants. He said that they had been given an impetus to work hard during the electoral campaign, with only ten days left before the elections. The UR leaders are not worried by the rating of their party, which is going down. “What are you talking about? There is no dramatic reduction of the rating. According to the latest public opinion poll, it stands at 57 per cent,” said Sergey Neverov, secretary of the presidium of the UR General Council. The government is not concerned over the going down of the UR rating either. Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Prime Minister, described it as fluctuation, without which no development is possible.
Surkov worked for a week to convince the President and the Prime Minister that UR would not be able to get more than 51 per cen, but that it actually does not need more votes, the RBK daily writes. Its source in the Kremlin explained Surkov’s logic in the following way: other parties could be influenced from his office anyway. This is why it is not really important whether or not UR will get the constitutional majority. “Well coordinated voting will be ensured anyway,” said the staff member of the presidential administration.
According to the latest public opinion poll, conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation, 39 per cent of electors are going to vote for UR, Novye Izvestia writes. Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that he did not regard a slight reduction of the UR rating as a problem. It continues to be the highest in comparison with the ratings of other parties: the rating of the Communist Party is 12 per cent, that of the Liberal Democratic Party is 10 per cent and that of the Just Russia Party is 9 per cent. The remaining three registered parties will hardly qualify for the Duma. 14 per cent of the polled have not made up their minds so far, while 13 per cent know for certain that they will not go to the polling stations.