Secretary of United Russia's General Council Sergei Neverov called on Wednesday for reviving election blocs, on certain conditions. The Communist Party /KPRF/ and A Just Russia Party promptly said the proposal was a hoax, because it would enable United Russia to induct into the parliament loyal small parties. Meanwhile, the parties not represented in parliament are ready to consolidate in blocs.
The vote threshold for election blocs will be higher than for the parties, the Moskovsky Komsomolets underlines. Political analyst Yevgeny Minchenko assumes the threshold might be set at 5 percent for political parties and at 7 percent for blocs, while a newspaper source in the United Russia leadership earlier suggested a 10 percent threshold for blocs, noting that for political parties it might remain unchanged at 7-percent.
The blocs will never make the threshold; they will only siphon off votes, and the votes cast for the losing parties will be redistributed in favor of the winners, i.e. United Russia in the first place.
Large parties have already stated that they are not going to bloc with anybody, so United Russia and the All-Russia People's Front would be the main beneficiaries to gain from this norm – if they wish to officially register this inviolable bloc of United Russia and non-partisans in a "political contract."
The Kommersant reminds that Vladimir Putin, in his address to the Federal Assembly on December 12, 2012, suggested considering the issue of election blocs. He ordered his administration and the Central Election Commission to prepare by the spring a bill on transfer to the parliamentary election under the mixed majority/proportionate system. According to a Public Opinion foundation poll conducted in late December, 30 percent of respondents approved the comeback of the mixed election system, 7 percent disapproved, and 64 percent were undecided.
"Any election bloc under the incumbent political system is United Russia's trick; as a rule, it is the Kremlin that engages in party construction," KPRF secretary for information and analytical work Sergei Obukhov explained to the newspaper, "they would create a bloc of parties similar to United Russia to have extra support. It will be something along these lines: "For Revival" or "For Prosperity" of something."
Deputy head of the A Just Russia faction at the State Duma Mikhail Yemelyanov believes that if United Russia thinks it is not powerful enough to gather 60 to 70 percent votes, it might create several blocs. It will enable it to maneuver and manipulate small factions. "The Opposition will gain little from it," Yemelyanov said.
Meanwhile, non-parliament parties are ready to consolidate in blocs. According to Right Cause leader Andrei Dunayev, everything depends on a given region, because "branch leaders are not always ready for cooperation." He said his party would not make blocs with the Communists or United Russia, but that it was ready to cooperate with other political parties.