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MOSCOW, April 2 (Itar-Tass) — The Communist Party is to be Russia’s key opposition force and must take over the power either by parliamentary or revolutionary means. These were decisions of a weekend plenary meeting of the Communist Party’s central committee. More to it, the party will only rely on itself. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov stressed that Russia’s constitution needs to be amended to push reforms in the country. He called on the party’s faction in the Russian State Duma lower parliament house to submit a bill on constitutional assembly.
Communist activists seemed to be inspired by the second place the party won in the recent parliamentary and presidential elections, the Kommersant writes. “After a drop in the mid-2000s, our official results have stabilized at an average level of 17-20 percent,” Ivan Melnikov, the first deputy chairman of the party’s central committee, told the plenary meeting. His report analyzed the two elections campaigns and outlined “the party’s goals in the new environment.” “We have regained out positions, which we had to surrender in the mid-2000s after a series of the Kremlin’s many-moved games,” Zyuganov said closing the meeting. Both the leader and his first deputy called the recent elections “illegitimate, unfair and non-transparent.” The post-election civil actions have proved that currently the Communist Party is “resting on a very fertile ground of the crisis of confidence in the authorities to take over the initiative,” Melnikov said.
The Communist Party must rely only on itself, since there are neither allies nor companions among both the existing parties and a “heap of party projects” that are likely to emerge after the law on parties is liberalized. Melnikov praised the party for not siding “both with the regime advocates and with liberal revenge seekers” and remaining “a third force” in the recent elections.
On Saturday, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said that an amended constitution is needed in order to change the situation in Russia. He called on the Communist faction in the State Duma to draft and propose a bill on constitutional assembly, the Novye Izvestia writes. Earlier, the idea was voiced by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Experts however believe the authorities are very much unlikely to take urgent steps to call a constitutional assembly, since the existing constitution is advantageous for them.
“Putin, his vertical hierarchy and his regime, could not allow runoffs,” the Moskovsky Komsomolets cites the Communist leader. In the mean time, Zyuganov’s first deputy, Ivan Melnikov claimed that various means used by the authorities to rig or falsify votes helped to add at least 15 percent to the winner. “If the elections were fair, the runoffs would have been inevitable,” he stressed.
Some delegates from the party’s regional branches called on the party to file an appeal to the Russian Supreme Court to cancel the results of the March 4 presidential elections, Vadim Solovyev, the head of the Communist Party’s law service and member of the State Duma, told the newspaper. “There is not yet a final decision, but I think we should not file such an appeal. The ruling of the Supreme Court is quite predictable – it is sure to confirm the Central Election Commission’s conclusion about the elections’ legitimacy,” he said. At the same time, he admitted that the party is preparing a “bigger” appeal to cancel the results of the parliamentary elections, and it will be ready by summer.
After Gennady Zyuganov failed to live up to the Communists’ expectations in the presidential race, there were rumours that he might (or must) step down as the party leader. “Don’t swallow the bait,” Melnikov called on his fellow party members and said all allegations on this subject were a “contract attack” aiming to “set people at loggerheads” and thus weaken the party.