In one of the oddest public pronouncements of this year’s Russian Duma election campaign, the Chairman of political party A Just Russia has just offered to form an alliance with the Russian Communist Party.
This despite the fact that (a) formal coalitions are banned in Russia and (b) A Just Russia already has an informal alliance with United Russia, the largest party in the Russian Duma at the moment.
“I would like to take this platform to appeal to the leadership of the Communist Party of Russia, personally to Gennady Zyuganov with a proposal to create an alliance of left forces that would destroy United Russia’s plans to gain a majority.”
I genuinely can’t figure out what this is about. Yes, A Just Russia is the smallest party in the current Russian Duma, and is in real danger of dropping under the threshold required to get back into the next Duma, but what good does a public appeal like this do? Surely it just makes AJR seem like a desperate party with no friends who need to try and publicly corner other parties into allying with them for publicity? Is that really worth the risk when one of the main side effects will be to p*ss off your current ally?
It sounds like the Communist Party are pretty confused as well, and suggesting that AJR’s public declaration of love is basically a last throw of the dice. Ivan Melnikov, a senior member of the KPRF, dismissed calls for an alliance, telling reporters:
“There is an impression that they are trying to get a hold of the Communist Party as they would hold onto a life preserver. But what is in it for us? We don’t need it.”
So, was there logic behind AJR’s call for an alliance? Or was it just a spectacular public own goal?
If you have any ideas, leave a comment below to let us know!