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Russia’s ruling party United Russia began its congress on Thursday with a discussion focusing on the returns of the single voting day on September 8 and activity of party factions. President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with secretaries of United Russia’s grassroot organizations became the key event. Accompanied by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Putin answered many questions. The president called United Russia the most influential people’s party, but warned its members against euphoria, bigheadedness and a slide into populism while communicating with voters.
Discussion of United Russia’s election results was given a rather high portion of self-criticism, Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reports.
Putin spoke much of the current conditions of competition the ruling party works in, of the need to further develop traditions and rules of intraparty democracy and of what United Russia is like right now.
By tradition grassroot people used an opportunity to ask Putin questions ordinary people are interested in. The president in his usual manner gave rather thorough answers thanking party for being a reliable foothold for the state and reiterating that the president and the government needed support of the country’s leading political force.
Moskovsky Komsomolets reports that finally Vladimir Putin attended the opening of United Russia’s congress and had a talk with activists of the party he had left. United Russia leader Dmitry Medvedev with pleasure passed his microphone to Putin and practically did not interfere in the discussion. The essence of Putin’s speech is that the time of unpopular initiatives is coming and it is necessary to bring this message to people.