Russia » Politics
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Cadets Once Again Emerge in Russian Politics

The history resumes its normal course: after the 85 years of oblivion, cadets have once again appeared in the political life of Russia
The party expects to get its role in the Duma. Does it mean that a socialist revolutionary party may appear some day too?

A new member of the pre-election race, "Coalition supporting the Russian Constitutional Democratic Party (cadets)" organized its official presentation in Moscow's House of Journalists on September 11. The coalition consists of political parties and organizations, the Party of Russia's Citizens and the New Russia party are among them.

The coalition leader Alexander Kotenev says an official pre-election congress of the party is scheduled for September 19. It is reported that party leader Alexander Kotenev and famous actress Irina Alferova will be among the three top figures of the party.

Alexander Kotenev says that main objective of the party is "to strengthen the power by improving its character." He added that it is important to change the character of the authority that "manipulates and suppresses people's will."

"The coalition is seeking power to revive the lost democratic achievements." These are the goals of the political organization as voiced by Vyacheslav Volkov, the chairman of the Russian Constitutional Democratic Party.

Azamat Dzendubayev, co-chairman of the New Russia party emphasizes that main objective of the coalition is "to preserve the political process within the civilized framework." The New Russia co-chairman thinks that the apathy and indifference of the society "may lead to a revolt."
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The Constitutional Democratic Party (the official name - the Party of People's Freedom) was set up in October 1905. The program of cadets included demands of bourgeois freedoms: the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, the freedom of assembly, the freedom of movement, the sanctity of the home and so on.

The agrarian part of the program supposed that landless and having insufficient arable land peasants must be given land from the reserves of the government, of independent principalities and monasteries.

As for workers, the party program demanded that the legislation must apply to all kinds of hired labor; that the workday must be gradually reduced to 8 hours (as far as it was possible). The program supported the right of workers for strikes and organization of unions; it insisted on obligatory state insurance of workers "on condition that all expenses are settled by entrepreneurs themselves." The program paid particular attention to expansion of the rights of local self-government authorities in Russian regions and to creation of smaller self-government bodies in the regions. The cadets that appeared before the October Revolution demanded freedom of languages; it was also stated that Poland and Finland were recognized as autonomies within the bounds of the Russian Empire.

In November 1917, the Soviet Government issued a decree that declared that cadets were "a party of people's enemies". According to the document, members of the party managing bodies were to be arrested and be prosecuted by the revolutionary tribunal. When the cadets went underground, the still continued fighting against the Soviet power. The leader of that party of cadets were at head of the underground of anti-soviet centers, they cooperated with White Guard generals Kaledin, Kolchak, Denikin, Wrangel and were members of several White Guard governments. 

When the White Guard and interventionists were smashed, majority of cadet leaders escaped abroad. The party organized a session in May 1921 in Paris where its split into two groups.