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.
Chairman Nikolay Levichev told reporters:
“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!
They do this dance once in a while. Both are left wing, socialist, labor parties. If we would analyze voting patterns in Duma they’ll probably be identical for 95%. The communists of course have their heritage. Don’t think soviet, but 1993, 1996 when they truely challenged the new political order. Just Russia has always accepted the new order (the ultimate non-partisan guardianship of the Kremlin/tandem) until UR started wrangling them out the few benefits they had.
The main two reasons why unification talks never materialized are of course Zyuganov and Mironov. Levichev seems content with a behind the scenes role, he might be willing to forego leadership and it’s about time someone within KPRF is going to make a play against Zyugy. Too late for these elections though …..
On a side note, had people been interested in political ideas of Just Russia, rather than it’s potential as a tool of power, there would be no surprise ….