The notorious Russian politician, however, hopes to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the party
Someone stole the banner of the Liberal and Democratic Party of Russia, known for its initials as LDPR. The incident happened on Monday, when the party was holding a congress in Moscow, timed to the 15th anniversary of the political organization.
The blue, fringe and tassel-adorned flag with yellow LDPR letters on it was found missing when the congress ended. “Spokespeople for the party could not find the LDPR's symbol, when they were going to take a bus drive for the meeting near the Ukrainian embassy,” a member of the congress told Itar-Tass.
LDPR's notorious leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky was quite generous in his comments regarding the loss of the party's banner. Zhirinovsky said that thieves could come and use any possessions of his party, NTV reports. “I was very surprised to known that something had been stolen from us. Let thousands of thieves come to LDPR and take everything they want! The LDPR headquarters is open – come and take it! All banners, all books, audio and video materials – I will give away everything! I will even give away my own clothes!” Vladimir Zhirinovsky told reporters.
The press service of LDPR refused to comment the incident after Zhirinovsky's statement, NTV said. The Moscow police are meanwhile investigating the theft of the party's banner.
One may presume that the loss of the LDPR's banner is a bad sign for the party. Thirteen million people voted for LDPR at the first parliamentary elections. The party's electorate has decreased twice since then. Experts predicted the party's final defeat prior to the latest parliamentary elections in Russia. The election-2003, however, showed that Russia's protesting electorate – the people, who do not want to vote for any of the two major competing parties – still make up about 20 percent, as it was in 1993. The protesting votes were distributed between LDPR and another party, Rodina, from the leftist wing of the parliament.
It is not ruled out that the party will lose even the protesting electorate in 2007, when Russia holds regular elections to the parliament. LDPR currently supports the United Russia party, which is considered the party of power in Russia. On the other hand, Rodina and its chairman, Dmitry Rogizin, criticize the party of power for passing anti-national bills. “We express our desire and agreement to cooperate with United Russia,” Vladimir Zhirinovsky said.
The protesting electorate will make its own conclusions regarding such cooperation. Liberal democrats might suffer a debacle at the next elections, despite Zhirinovsky's oratorical skills.
The party's leader is being quite optimistic about the future of his organization: “LDPR will come to power in ten years,” says he. Moreover, Zhirinovsky hopes to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the party. He also reserves a humble seat for himself in the presidium: “I will sit down on a gold-plated little chair, as the party founder. Aleksei Mitrofanov will get a silver-plated chair. Someone will have to sit just on a regular wooden chair and someone will get a rug,” said he.
On the photo: Vladimir Zhirinovsky