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United Russia’s congress confirms its position as ruling party

October 07, 2013, 11:30 UTC+3

President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev need a competitive United Russia and they made it absolutely clear at the congress

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MOSCOW, October 7 (Itar-Tass World Service) - The fourteenth congress of United Russia, where it confirmed its position as the country’s ruling party, concluded in Moscow on Saturday. United Russia renewed its ranks and confirmed its course towards involving Russians into a discussion on decisions being made by the authorities. In general, the party took responsibility for translating vital economic and social tasks into life.

President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev need a competitive United Russia and they made it absolutely clear at the congress, Oleg Matveychev, Professor at the National Research University - Higher School of Economics, was quoted by Nezavisimaya Gazeta as saying. “In the conditions of growing competition United Russia will find itself in a wild forest, where different animals live,” he said. “Neither the Liberal Democratic Party nor the Communist Party that are criticizing the party will disappear, but another 75 critics will emerge. United Russia should respond to all challenges with effective work and ideological training.”

All this causes the need to promote up-to-dateness in intraparty politics, in its society development activity and its dialogue with people. Different variants of answers to this request were heard during the first two days of the congress. These efforts were concluded with a program statement made by the party’s leader. It was taken as a basis by a decision of the party’s main body.

Experts believe that the party’s near future program becomes not “an abstract project, but a list of concrete tasks and strategy targeted at active work with people.” These plans will become a means towards the main goal - the party’s modernization.

Kommersant business daily reported that at its fourteenth congress United Russia that in the 2000s announced social conservatism as its main principle had taken its course towards people. Abundance of minor party branch members in the party’s governing bodies, an accent on the local agenda in election campaigns and systematic cleanup of “a flock from scabbed sheep” - such will be United Russia without Vladimir Putin, who once again as before 2008 has been perceived as a moral leader by party members, the newspaper writes.

“The country is developing a multi-party system,” Moscow City Duma speaker Vladimir Platonov said. “President Putin had made it clear that he was above the party system. In fact, he said I became the father of this party. You realize that you feel a little bit more love to your own child. He is our moral leader,” State Duma parliamentarian Valery Galchenko said.

Nina Kudashova, the little-known head of a minor party branch in Moscow, who was elected as chair of the party’s Central Control and Revision Committee at the congress, said: “Vladimir Putin had taken a right stance. The president should have an “above-party” status. And the People’s Front is a movement standing above the party. Don’t worry, the party will not get lost. At least, the People’s Front members go to elections by our party lists and not we - by theirs,” she said.

Political analyst Nikolai Zlobin, who heads the Centre on Global Interests, told Izvestia newspaper that the party should find a leader and change its name. United Russia also needs “to find a young and effective manager, help him to win the elections, then he will strengthen the party’s positions,” he said.

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