May 15, 2003
Experimental Model of Parliamentary Elections
The pre-election race is gathering steam
Sciences of politics give various estimations to December elections to the lower house of the parliament. However, the administration of the president is reportedly not really concerned with raising the support of the Unity faction. The presidential administration is more preoccupied with weakening the Communist Party - this is what they did during the time of Boris Yeltsin's ruling. The most curious thing about it is the fact that the direction of the pre-election activity remains the same. Yet, the field, on which the battle will take place, is getting a lot larger. Now the presidential administration can afford the things that it could never do in Yeltsin's era.
Vladimir Putin has been looking for a new ideology for the internal use during three years of his presidency. Approving the official melody of the Soviet anthem, the return of red banners to the Russian Armed Forces, the ferocious rhetoric against exterior enemies, and finally, appointing the vice prime minister, who was awarded with the Order of Honor to Lenin's centenary at the age of 19 (!!!). These were the impulses that the society understood pretty well. Nostalgic feelings, which are gradually brought in the official politics, can lead to rather acceptable results.
This direction of the pre-election campaign will be reportedly used by the presidential administration during the elections that are to take place in December.
According to the information from certain sources, the first test is to take place already in September, during the elections of the Omsk regional governor. The incumbent governor of the Omsk region takes efforts to adjourn the voting until December and combine it with parliamentary elections. Yet, it al already known that the Central Electoral Committee treats Leonid Polezhayev's idea skeptically.
The governor has been in the category of unreliable people for quite a while, since he refused to support the Unity party. However, his recent hysterical visit to Moscow with a press conference, at which the governor commented on the closed meeting between Vladimir Putin and Narsultan Nazarbayev (the president of the republic of Kazakhstan), shows that the Omsk governor tries to take desperate measures to win the Kremlin over to his side.
The disposition of forces is as follows. The Omsk region has been traditionally considered a so-called red territory on the political map of Russia: the majority of local residents vote for communists at elections. First and foremost, this is basically caused with a large number of defense enterprises in the region, which suffered a lot during Yeltsin's reforms. That is why, the Communist Party believes that the Siberian Omsk region is their territory, where they can carry out their experiments.
Communists have already nominated their own candidacy - Leonid Mayevsky. Prior to his election to the State Duma, this politicians was not noticed for his sympathies to communists. Mayevsky is reportedly a candidacy from the company Alpha. Oligarch Mikhail Fridman (the owner of the company) has had his eye on the Omsk region with its rich industrial potential.
Thus, one of the basic political forces (if one may say so) will participate in gubernatorial elections in a modified state: its candidate has the sufficient funding of one of oligarchic groups. This is an entrepreneur, the manager of the joint stock company New Technologies - XXI Century. This can be a logical opposition to this candidacy against the background of the mentioned experiment.
PRAVDA.Ru has the information, that there has been another candidacy found as a counterbalance to Mr. Mayevsky, who will have to pay the pre-election debt on the position of the governor. The new candidacy meets all requirements of new ideological tasks. The chairwoman of board of directors of the Omsk Radio Factory, the joint stock company Relero, Tatiana Ushakova, is a well-known person in the region. She is in the opposition to incumbent governor Leonid Polezhayev, her name is not allowed to be mentioned in the local press. Owing to Tatiana Ushakova's efforts, the company has recently started retrieving the entire social sphere - the idea, which has been abandoned by almost all Russian enterprises. It has already become possible to return the pioneer camp, other institutions wait for their turn to come, while Tatiana Ushakova stands the legal dispute with the governor to obtain the property right to own them. The company Relero is a unique enterprise, which has managed to survive the messy 1990s and to preserve more than 70 percent of the company's shares for its employees. Therefore, the head of the company's administrative board is not an appointed proprietor, but an elected candidacy, which is rather important.
On the whole, it is a strong trump card to struggle with the candidacy of the Communist party. Tatiana Ushakova represents the defense industry, the electors of which in the Omsk region are most disciplined. In the board of directors of the company she defended the necessity to fund the social field, which is a well-known fact in the city of Omsk. Tatiana Ushakova was elected for her position by workers, employees. The only drawback is her female sex, but the drawback gets smoothed out with the example of another woman in the Russian politics - Valentina Matviyenko. On the whole, Ushakova is a perfect candidacy for the presidential administration to test the new disposition in the struggle for electors with communists. The question is about the efficiency of the new layout on the entire territory of Russia.