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Opposition Coordination Council elections to take place anyway

September 23, 2013, 10:11 UTC+3

Some members of the Opposition Coordination Council refused to run in the election race, while the structure itself hardly escaped self-liquidation

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After long debates, members of the Russian Opposition Coordination Council whose term of office would end in October 2013 took a decision to hold new elections to the opposition structure. At their weekend meeting the Opposition Coordination Council decided to significantly change the election procedure. From now on, candidates to the Council would be able to be elected on a common basis. Some members of the Opposition Coordination Council refused to run in the election race, while the structure itself hardly escaped self-liquidation.

Many candidates announced they would not participate in the new elections, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. Russian environmental activist Yevgeniya Chirikova said “the Opposition Coordination Council is unnecessary.” Opposition leader Alexei Navalny noted that the Council had been created as an executive body, but worked as political one. All fine and dandy, but there was none to fulfill its great political decisions. Former State Duma parliamentarian Gennady Gudkov said the Opposition Coordination Council had disappointed “irritated citizens”. This time they would not vote and there would be no authoritative Council.

Russian writer, poet and journalist Dmitry Bykov, opposition activists Ilya Yashin and Pyort Tsarkov have already refused to participate in the elections, while Alexei Navalny, Dmitry and Gennady Gudkovs, anti-Putin activist and former cabinet minister Boris Nemtsov remained undecided, the Kommersant business daily wrote.

As a result, the elections to the Opposition Coordination Council were almost cancelled, Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote. Summing up the results of their activity members of the structure concluded that they failed to fulfill functions assigned on them and made a significant contribution to the development of the opposition movement. However, after a member of the Opposition Coordination Council, Sergei Davidis, insisted on violation of the rules, it was proposed to set up a working group to organize the voting. Davidis, who became a group member, said the new election would be expected no earlier than in December over time- and effort-taking preparation process.

Experts interviewed by the Izvestiya daily noted that the Opposition Coordination Council had no chances to make itself known as an influential and capable organization. “These are persons and not structures, who play a key role in Russia,” said Alexei Mukhin, who heads the Political Information Centre.

Therefore, the creation of any political organization would inevitably lead to emergence of enclaves around a charismatic leader and later to its inevitable collapse, the expert said.

Political scientist Gleb Pavlovsky expressed an opinion that from the very beginning the Opposition Coordination Council proved to be a stillborn idea. “This was an unsuccessful project with a foolish idea to elect respected people though the internet that was invented in the most unsuitable time - on the single voting day,” he said.

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