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#5 - JRL 7243
BBC Monitoring
Russian left-wingers try to overcome split over election tactics
Source: NTV Mir, Moscow, in Russian 1100 gmt 27 Jun 03

[Presenter] A plenum of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation [CPRF] today [27 June] discussed the Communists' preparations for the parliamentary and presidential elections. It also discussed the issue of convening a special congress. My colleague Vadim Fefilov was following developments. [Passage omitted]

[Correspondent] Speculation about a split among left-wingers have probably become commonplace now. In chess, this is called zugzwang - when any move only makes one's position worse. Claims that there is no split whatsoever have also become commonplace for CPRF leaders. [Passage omitted.]

The latest development on this front has been a joint statement addressed to today's plenum. It was signed by 10 people, including Agro-Industrial Union Chairman Nikolay Kharitonov, Congress of Russian Communities leader Sergey Glazyev, Movement in Support of the Army leader Viktor Ilyukhin and others. The signatories suggest that the Communists should go to the election as one electoral bloc without any leading status for the CPRF and without the traditional CPRF label.

Valentin Kuptsov, in charge of finance in the [CPRF] central committee, who has just come out to speak to reporters, has said the issue was indeed important but would not be discussed at today's plenum. The issue will apparently be raised at the forthcoming special congress of the CPRF central committee, likely to be held on 10 September.

Here is some more of what Valentin Kuptsov had to say on the matter:

[Valentin Kuptsov, captioned as State Duma deputy from the CPRF faction] One of the aims of today's plenum is to ensure unity within the CPRF itself. We realize that the authorities are working quite hard to set up backup, say, for One Russia [main pro-Kremlin party], such as People's Deputy [movement] and the Party of Life [led by Federation Council Chairman Sergey Mironov]. It is also working hard to form a left-wing bloc, in particular by setting up an association including the Party for the Rebirth [of Russia; led by ex-Communist and State Duma speaker Gennadiy Seleznev], Spiritual Heritage [Unified Socialist Party of Russia (Spiritual Heritage)] and the Social Democratic Party [of Russia; led by Mikhail Gorbachev]. You understand that for us, in any event, there is and can be no split in the party.

[Presenter] How representative was today's event, and how would you describe [CPRF leader] Mr [Gennadiy] Zyuganov's mood there?

[Correspondent] Gennadiy Zyuganov looked pleased, he was congratulated by fellow party members at the start of the meeting - it was his birthday yesterday. All CPRF figures were present here today. [Passage omitted: plenum was held at a leisure centre of the crop research institute in a Moscow suburb]

[Presenter] [Passage omitted] Leaders of the left-wing patriotic opposition have appealed to the CPRF central committee plenum to back their initiative to set up a broad bloc of people's patriotic forces for participation in the parliamentary election, as Vadim Fefilov has just said. It is also said that if the CPRF turns it down, the bloc will still be set up, though its boundaries and aims will be more vague.

[Sergey Glazyev, captioned as State Duma deputy from the CPRF faction] If the CPRF decides that the CPRF will contest [the election] just as a party, then, I am convinced, not everyone will agree with it. A need will arise in that case to set up a broader coalition, which will at the same time be less clear-cut. In order for this coalition to be formed, we have drafted a treaty on cooperation between people's patriotic forces, in which all participants in the political process could unite around clearly defined goals and tasks.

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