For May 26, the next plenary session of Central Committee of Communist Party of the Russian Federation is to take place. As it became known from sources in the Presidium of the Central Committee, the main body of the party decided to exclude Gennady Seleznev, the State Duma speaker, from the party, which automatically predetermines the plenary session’s decision. The question is basically about a split in the party, which is the almost unbelievable dream of the Kremlin and the President Administration. And now....
In fact, the reason of the attack of the KPRF is the power of the party, which has recently increased, mainly qualitatively. On March 16, the group of leaders of the opposition, Gennady Zyuganov, Yury Maslyukov, Sergei Glazyev, and Nikolai Sapozhnikov, were received by President Putin, and for four hours they told him how the opposition sees the economic policies of the state. The president listened attentively, asked questions, though, later, his staff, having studied the shorthand report and materials left for him, explained to him how dangerous such a thoughtful opposition is for his personal power.
The result is known: the communists were deprived of their Duma committees, where they could have realized their ideas, if even in some restrict capacity. While centrists, such as Raikov, Pekhtin, Morozov, Volodin, became more active, to whom not only posts of the committees chairmen were promised, but also an opportunity to share the most attractive articles of the federal budget, practically without any control. Reserves of the Kremlin were introduced in a rather complicated combination in the structure of the opposition itself. The question is not only about Nikolai Kharitonov, who practically caused the revision of the packet agreement (about sharing State Duma committees between the parties) with his remark about Gennady Seleznev’s resignation. Now, it is clear that leaders of the Communist Party from the very outset wanted only to blow off some steam, but there were no real activities Gennady Zyuganov had mentioned. One more official of the Communist Party, Kuvaev, spoke even more loudly, though, in the end, he only wanted to exclude Gennady Seleznev (who seems to be the most dangerous enemy of the party).
While Putin has a more serious opponent, Prime-Minister Mikhail Kasyanov. The president would have long ago got rid of him, though there is one problem: Putin’s possible staff changes do not suit the so-called “world community,” to be more precise, the US administration. Let us say that appointments made directly by Putin even frighten them with their absurdity, while, against this background, Kasyanov looks like a ray of light in the realm of Russian darkness.
For example, the appointment of the young, mid-level provincial functionary, German Gref, as the main economist of Russia and supreme strategist of Russian State was a slap in the face of the whole class of Russian experts, scientists, and analysts. This also puzzled their foreign colleagues, who are usually listened to and not considered to be fools. The appearance of this minister’s deputies was also interpreted as an inappropriate joke. While the appointment of 27-year-old Mr Dvorkovich completely doted all i’s and crossed all t’s: everything turned out to be true. There is only one consolation: Putin is not Yeltsin, who changed his favourites depending on his spirits. Therefore, Putin should suggest the possible resignation of the Prime-Minister for the “world community.”
Therefore, the people’s patriotic opposition in Russia is very suitable for these aims. In closed sittings of the opposition’s leadership, they openly talk about solid support of the president’s policjies. Recently, however, populist spirits have intensified in the opposition, and some members even demand the president’s resignation. This the more dangerous of these populists, by using their populist slogans, could pressure the recognized leaders: Zyuganov, Kuptsov, and Kuvaev.
All the more, the connection between Maslyukov, Glazyev, Seleznev (who, according to the presidential administration, belong to the “risk group” for increasing the KPRF influence in the society) and Kasyanov is more than transparent: key posts in the staff of the prime-minister are occupied by people who earlier worked with Maslyukov in the Primakov government.
Therefore, besides the Kremlin’s instruction, the KPRF leadership has its own stimulus to attack the prime-minister, the retention of the leading role in the opposition.
The presidential administration and the Presidium of the CPRF Central Committee are very similar to each other: to preserve their positions, both are ready to sacrifice the interests of their structures. The president appoints to key posts people who are absolutely useless, however devoted, while getting rid of professionals who could compete with them. The opposition is ready to weaken the party, the Duma faction, even to go to the split, but to keep its position. Now Mikhail Kasyanov appears in parliament.
First, Kasyanov openly neglected Putin’s critics of the government about small pace of economical growth. It is not the proper time for great advances: 3 percent and not more. Second, the administrative reform declared in the president message was disavowed by the prime minister. No serious changes.
Third, presidential decrees should be executed at the expense of internal reserves of the budget. Therefore, “profitable” articles on which the centrists counted so much, will be used to execute the decrees, but not to support the “winners.”
While the executor of the decrees, Vice Premier Kudrin, was appointed, who knows the budget very well. Therefore, how will the centrists vote now, after they were deprived of the means they expected to obtain? However, it is clear how the Communist Party will vote: against Seleznev in the plenary session of the party and against Kasyanov in the Duma sitting. Afterwards, the communists should only replace Lenin's portrait to the president’s in the Duma office and prepare themselves for the election. Without the Communist Party's votes, Putin hardly will be reelected. Anatoly Baranov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/05/20/41342.html