Mikhail Gorbachev joins the party of power two months before the parliamentary elections
United Russia and Mikhail Gorbachev's Social Democratic Party of Russia have concluded an agreement concerning single mandate candidates for the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Secretary of the United Russia Central Committee Valery Bogomolov and Secretary of the Social Democratic Party's Political Council Ilya Konstantinov signed the document sealing the parties cooperation.
Valery Bogomolov spoke at the signing ceremony and said that ideas of social democracy must become stronger in Russia and push the-powers-that-be toward to solve a number of social problems. He added that in the future Russia would have leftist, social-democratic parties and a single centrist party to bring together practical and non-ideological voters.
The representative of the Social Democratic Party of Russia said that the agreement on cooperation would continue even after the parliamentary elections. Later, Ilya Konstantinov told journalists that the document did not impose any legal obligation on either side. In his words, United Russia and the Social Democratic Party of Russia have many ideological positions. According to the agreement, both parties pledge to conduct consultations before the elections and after.
Germany's Der Spiegel paid a tribute to the ex-president of the Soviet Union for his contribution into the reunification of West and East Germany and dedicated a story to Mikhail Gorbachev. The story begins with the words: "This man is cautiously examining the attitudes in the country. Mikhail Gorbachev, the man who banned the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, is now considering the possibility of another political ascent, this time in the social and democratic area."
Mikhail Gorbachev will not be satisfied with the life of an ordinary pensioner; he is still very active. The ex-president of the Soviet Union is the president of the International Green Cross and the president of the Gorbachev Foundation.
While with these endeavors, Russians from time to time recollect the fact that the Nobel Prize winner is also a respectable international figure and the leader of the small Social Democratic Party. But now, as the pre-election campaign two months before the parliamentary elections, many people wonder why Mikhail Gorbachev wants to deal with the party of power.
To win the favor of the incumbent president, Mikhail Gorbachev is highly praising Vladimir Putin everywhere he goes. He says that today's Russian president is energetic, brave but cautious. When he is asked too many questions, Mikhail Gorbachev as usual resorts to his categorical imperative manner and says: "Putin is a good president; I am the only person here who has been the president once and I know what I say."
Mikhail Gorbachev is a politically clever man and admits part of his guilt for the losses that are still causing pain: the breakup of the Soviet Union; the living conditions of two-thirds of the population and the social maintenance system crisis (free education and medical services, for instance). Mikhail Gorbachev and the 33,000 Social Democrats belonging to his party.
Attentive observers must have already noticed that during the several past months the Social Democrats headed by Mikhail Gorbachev have made several attempts to win the support of different pre-election blocks. Indeed, on its own the party certainly cannot overcome the 5 percent barrier needed to enter the Duma. Sergey Glazyev's Rodina block and the block headed by Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznev and Federation Council Speaker Sergey Mironov refused to cooperate with the party of Mikhail Gorbachev.