Friday, January 17, 2020

‘There is Such a Party!’ Lipetsk Deputy Seeks to Register Party of the Regions

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 14 – In 1917, when socialists said that there was no party in Russia that was prepared to assume power on its own, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin famously responded that there was such a party – his own – and then went on to prove that by seizing power and imposing one-party rule in Russia.

            Ever since then, the slogan “there is such a party” has been used in Russia to indicate those who are prepared to challenge the status quo.  Now, the Tallinn-based Region.Expert portal has used those words to describe the actions of Oleg Khomutinnikov, a Lipetsk parliamentarian ( repeating

            The Lipetsk deputy has submitted an application with the Russian justice ministry on behalf of political leaders not only from his own region but also from Tatarstan, Mordvinia, Voronezh, Tver, Saratov, Orel, and Tambov for registration of a new party of the regions, something many outside have wanted since the 1990s but that the Putin regime has blocked.

            Khomutinnikov says that he and his colleagues are taking this step because “existing parties are closed structures which to a large extent exist not for the people but for themselves. They are controlled by the authorities and are not prepared to defend the interests of Russians and especially of those who live not in Moscow but in the regions.”

            “There is no sense in speaking of ‘lefts’ or ‘rights’ in contemporary Russia,” he continues.” There is only one division: between those who are for the interests of the people and those who are against. The raising of the pension age and taxes, the confiscation of resources from the regions, restrictions on freedom of speech, lack of medical facilities, concern about residents in foreign countries at the expense of Russians: this is what all the political forces in power support.”

             “And it is not important,” the Lipetsk deputy continues, whether they call themselves lefts or rights. We are against this. We are for freedom, for a real social stage, for rotation of officials, for the interests of Russians whatever views they have.”

            That is why we are forming a party, he declares. And in the near future, “we will hold a congress and form no fewer than 50 regional divisions. If there won’t be strong resistance to oour registration, we will take part in elections already in 2020.”

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