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No unity in Russian Opposition

December 22, 2011, 12:54 UTC+3
The ways of the Russian system Opposition and rally organizers are diverging ever more
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MOSCOW, December 22 (Itar-Tass) — The ways of the Russian system Opposition and rally organizers are diverging ever more. There is no understanding of the common objective among the organizers of the 24 December rally, with the parties that won mandates in the new parliament distancing themselves from the protesters.

The rally's Organizing Committee is becoming increasingly uncertain about the purpose and format of the action, the "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" writes. The rally is declared in the form of concert, but it seems Opposition politicians will be the hosts. Meanwhile, a large part of the future audience at the protest show made it clear they were expecting other speakers, the newspaper notes.

"This rally might cause much embarrassment," the newspaper quoted Leonid Polyakov, head of the department of political science, Higher School of Economics, as saying. In his view, "the persons who are now forming a group of leaders for the rally, will find it hard to reach an accord." Also, there are big problems with the speakers. The rally has turned into a sort of a business project, with the Opposition leaders stating it is important to them that many people turn up at the rally, and that who comes and why is of no significance.

In another article, Nezavisimaya Gazeta muses that people from the protest movement are facing the question of priorities in their work and tactic. Of the demands brought forward in Bolotnaya Square on December 10, the liberalization of the election law seems to be most promising. The attitude to the parliamentary election may remain the same. But in the situation, when the Communist Party (KPRF), the Liberal Democrats (LDPR) and A Just Russia collected their mandates and proceeded to work in parliament, thus agreeing with the election results and distancing themselves (at any rate at the level of organizations, not individual members) from the protest movement, it is unpractical, at the very least, to insist on repeat vote for the same politicians, the newspaper believes.

The parties that won seats in parliament, are scared of their own success, Kommersant believes. Voters gave the Opposition a tremendous advance, but the parties distanced themselves from "the street." In actual fact, they turned away from the citizens who came to Bolotnaya Square in defense of the votes cast for the Opposition. At the meeting with President Medvedev the Opposition called these citizens "an orange threat." The boldest demarche attempted during this time was the bid to oust Chairman of the Central Election Commission Vladimir Churov, but these attempts were half-hearted. The parties calmed down as they understood that there could be just one winner in the election campaign - Vladimir Putin. So after sharing the Duma portfolios, the Opposition parties almost stopped making fuss in public or statements about election fraud. They also stopped paying attention to their voters.

United Russia's positions have weakened, but the Opposition did not even try to follow up the success of the parliamentary campaign in the presidential election campaign. Instead of encouraging changes in new conditions, the KPRF and the LDPR let their "veterans" run for president. None of them is going to aspire to lead the anti-Putin Opposition.




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