Russia » Politics

A post-election syndrome

Official election results are expected to appear on December 17-18, 2003. Those who won the elections continue to cheer. Those who lost, continue to grieve. Gennady Zyuganov is the only one who still continues to question the final results.
Communists have carefully prepared for the elections to the State Duma. They created a special Government’s Automated System (GAS) entitled “Elections” in order to monitor the entire process. They have also started a server “FairGame.” After processing about 30% of protocols of the elections committees, FairGame determined that GAS has in fact falsified the results and added about 3,5 million votes to the “Authoritative Party” (“Partiya Vlasti”). Interestingly, those votes were stolen from “SPS” (Union of Rightist Powers) and “Yabloko”. According too Zyuganov that is the primary reason why rightists did not get to the Duma.

“Yabloko” was not surprised to hear such remarks from the communist leader. One of the “Yabloko”’s leaders Sergey Ivanenko has stated that alternative count will be held in 50% of the polling places. In case of substantial evidences of falsifications, those official results will have to be reconsidered. Ivanenko agreed with the Central Elections Committee. According to the CEC, the alternative count will take place only in case more than 50% of all polling places will report of some problems. This will be a rather difficult task, however.

“SPS” party also possesses certain information regarding data falsification in several regions, including Kolmikiya. The party’s press services reported in their interview to the Moscow’s radio station “echo Moskvi” that “Several law violations have been reported from the side of Kolmik President Ilyumzhinov. As a result, many people from ‘Ilyumzhinov’s list’ have entered the government.” According to one of the “SPS” regional branches, a sudden mass increase of votes has been noted in favor of the “United Russia” party.

Data obtained from various alternative sources appears to be quite promising, since no additional votes have been reported in favor of the communist party. However, a lot is being said about both “Yabloko” and “SPS”. Both of these parties might have overcome the 5% barrier to the State Duma. Zyuganov has probably understood that his party will feel quite lonely in the Parliament. Therefore, he suggested such parties-outsiders like “Yabloko” and “SPS” to use the results of the alternative count and to file a lawsuit with “all the paperwork at hand.” Zyuganov himself has announced his decision to go to court.

Whether the rightist parties will follow Zyuganov’s advice remains a question. Leader of “Yabloko” Sergey Ivanenko, informed the press that his party is conducting its own count. “SPS” leader Boris Nadejdin reported to Gazeta.ru that “results of the alternative count will not affect final results.” Despite the fact that some 100o votes have been determined as ‘stolen’, does not really make that much of a difference,” remarked Nadejdin. According to Nadejdin, it is of vital importance to think about creating a new rightist party. 

Having learned about Zyuganov’s idea of alternative count, head of the Central Elections Committee Alexander Veshnyakov has exclaimed, “This is not serious, this is cheating. We are ready to cooperate, but we will never approve cheaters!” Veshnyakov has further stated, “Those who falsify data will be punished, as well as those who lie.” 

According to Veshnyakov’s affirmative voice, one can hardly think of any sensations during the official announcement of final election results. For better or for worse, rightist parties will not appear in the fourth convocation of State Duma. However, several parties plan to unite and form a group of strictly liberal orientation. “We are trying to unite all liberal minded people”, declared independent delegate Vladimir Rizhkov. He stated that negotiations are still in process. Several delegates “Yabloko” and “SPS” have already expressed their desire to join the group. 

A new party entitled “New Rightists” will soon be registered. President of the “New Rightists” fund Alexey Chadaev has informed RIA “Novosti” about this event. The primary reason for establishing a new party has to do with “current crises of existing rightist parties.” 

Chadaev stated, “Today, we will not cooperate with ‘SPS’ because of their miserable failure.” The main reason for the party’s failure is mass media, considers Chadaev. There was no direct contact with people.

Main failure of the State’s elections was Zuyganov’s defeat. Today, Zyuganov is preoccupied with finding a decent way of resigning. A time-out is needed before the communist leader finds his successor. “Effective Politics Fund” expert Sergey Belanovsky considers that KPRF (Zyuganov’s communist party) will most likely need a conservative scenario. “For a party which is mainly based on its own conservatism, a change of its leader might be quite dangerous. Therefore, KPRF’s renovation will be a very difficult task,” reported Belanovsky.

In case Zyuganov decides to stay at power, lead his communist bloc and participate in the upcoming presidential elections in 2004, media will not stop attacking communists.

The new Duma will have fewer committees. This time, each fraction will have no more than two committees. Members of other fractions will most likely receive titles of Assistant Directors of those committees. 
Communists already got used to their new role of outsiders in the new Duma. “The party will not lay claims to any committees. Instead, it will pay closer attention to its work in the Parliament,” declared Zyuganov.

One of the main goals of this sequestration is to reduce amount of leading posts in State Duma. One the one side, it is good. With lesser amount of committees, chances of corruption will decrease as well. On the other hand, such situation is not really that good, since it reinforces the authoritative party. 

Dmitry Chirkin