Russian communists win support as Putin party fades

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Dec. 5, 2011, 10:05 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Reuters

A woman leaves a booth at a polling station in the village of Oster, 380km (237 miles) west of Moscow, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011.
© AP


Dec 5 (Reuters) - Just 20 years ago, they seemed consigned to the dustbin of history. At Sunday's parliamentary polls, Russia's communists drew students, intellectuals, even some businessmen in forging an opposition to Vladimir Putin's wounded United Russia party. Just 20 years ago, they seemed consigned to the dustbin of history. At Sunday's parliamentary polls, Russia's communists drew students, intellectuals, even some businessmen in forging an opposition to Vladimir Putin's wounded United Russia party.

The Communist Party (CPRF) for most Russians evokes images of bemedalled war veterans and the elderly poor deprived of pensions and left behind in a "New Russia" of glitzy indulgence. Large swathes of society have appeared beyond the reach of the red flag and hammer and sickle.

Until Sunday.

Not that the Communist Party's doubling of its vote to about 20 percent presages any imminent assault on power. The memories of repression in the old communist Soviet Union, the labour camps and the regimentation are still too fresh for many. But vote for the Party they did, if perhaps with gritted teeth.

"With sadness I remember how I passionately vowed to my grandfather I would never vote for the Communists," Yulia Serpikova, 27, a freelance location manager in the film industry, told Reuters. "It's sad that with the ballot in hand I had to tick the box for them to vote against it all."

For many Russians disillusioned by rampant corruption and a widening gap between rich and poor, the communists represented the only credible opposition to Putin's United Russia.

Through all the turmoil of the early 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed, the party kept a strong national organisation based on regions and workplace. With access to official media limited for the opposition, this has been a huge advantage.

Also the communists, ironically, benefited from the votes of some pro-Western liberals who saw little or no hope of kindred parties such as economist Grigory Yavlinsky's Yabloko clearing the seven percent threshold to enter parliament. Yabloko doubled their vote to 3.3 percent.

The vote for the communists, commanding a support base that guaranteed seats, would reliably count against United Russia. Votes cast for Yabloko, failing at the threshhold, would be redistributed to the successful parties, most gallingly United Russia.

"Many people (40 percent) didn't vote, simply saying there's no-one to vote for and it's all decided ahead of time," said veteran commentator Vladimir Pozner said. "That's a shame because if more had voted, Yabloko might have got in."

In the end though Yabloko is too closely associated in the minds of many with the economic and social chaos of the 1990s.

"The Communists are the only real party out there," said one Western banker in Moscow. "United Russia is a joke, Just Russia is a joke and the LDPR is a joke and many people know it. So they vote communist because they realize it is a real vote for the opposition and against United Russia.

"This is as ironic as you get."


United Russia was founded largely as a vehicle for Putin, whose authority suffered a blow with the party's fall in support from 64 percent in 2007 to 49.5 percent, according to exit polls and early official results.

The nationalist LDPR is built around one man, the colourful and somewhat eccentric Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Other parties lack national structure.

"United Russia has angered everybody, so people are looking for an alternative," said Alexander Kurov, 19, one of a long line of students in slippers and T-shirts queuing to vote inside the marble halls of Moscow's mammoth Soviet-built state university dormitory.

"I don't particularly like the communists but there is no one else (to vote for) and I don't want my vote to be stolen," Kurov, a student of physics, told Reuters.

At the Communist Party headquarters hung with portraits of Lenin and heavy gold-on-red velvet hammer-and-sickle banners, party leader Gennady Zyuganov complained of fraud and described the election as "theft on an especially grand scale".

"Despite their efforts to break public opinion, the country has refused to support United Russia," he said.

He said police had barred Communist monitors from several polling stations across the country, adding that "some ended up in hospital with broken bones". Some ballot boxes, he said, had been stuffed with ballots before voting began.

In a bizarre flip, today's communists have benefited from satire on Russia's vibrant blogosphere comparing Putin's party to the all powerful Communist Party of Soviet times.

One popular image shows Putin's face aged and superimposed on a portrait of doddering Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, mocking the prime minister's plan to return to the presidency in March for two possible terms until 2024.

Voters wary of United Russia said their decision was purely a matter of cold electoral arithmetic, backing the party most likely to cross a seven percent threshold and win enough seats to act as a counterweight to Putin's party.

"I am voting against Putin, to weaken his party, so it makes sense to vote for a party that will make it in," Sergei Yemilianov, 46, a mathematics professor, said.

Analyst Masha Lipman of the Moscow Carnegie Center described votes gained by the Communist Party as "similar to writing a four letter word on the ballot."

"It's a sign of defiance," she told Reuters. "The government has turned this election into a farce and in response people are turning their electoral choice into a travesty."


Preceptions among some Russians that the nationalist LDPR party and Just Russia are in the Kremlin's pocket and will vote with United Russia in parliament also helped the communists.

"We are losing votes to the Communist Party, who people think of as more of an opposition party because it doesn't have a history of cooperation with the authorities like we sadly do," Gennady Gudkov, a senior lawmaker with Just Russia, said.

Russia's lower house is largely considered a rubber stamp body for the Kremlin, but if United Russia loses its majority experts say the new balance of power may see the return of some real political debate.

One communist lawmaker hailed the victory as "a new political reality" on Sunday evening.

"They are a different party than in Soviet times," Anna, 21, a student of mechanics at the Moscow State University, said. "I have a lot of friends who are activists for the Communists Party. It's become popular."

Young Communist Party deputy Yuri Afonov, 34, told Reuters by telephone from Tambov that people were upset with the political order and many saw the Internet as the only place in which real opinions were voiced.

The Communist Party may be a long way from fundamentally changing its image. Its success may reflect disenchantment with Putin and his party far more than a new yen for communist order.

But one contributor to the Communist Party's chat forum offered a new genre of 'communist cool' with a rap composition.

"Want to get back what they took from me

Free schooling ain't no free lunch

Free medicine is my right, you see

What matters to you? Whose side you on?

Want to help your country

So it's our choice and it's our rap

So we go vote for the CPRF"
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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 11:15 a.m.    

There could be People who think that the Spanish Socialist Party may write to the Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic, who is the leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia, and say that the Tadic fake Socialists contributed to their Election Loss.

The Socialist Party of Serbia or SPS, wants to join the Socialist International, but there is still only one opposition within Socialist International because of the Al-Qaeda Muslim Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina Veto the Serbian Socialist Party to join the Socialist International.

The People of the World need to ask themselves, just what right does Al-Qaeda have to be a part of the Socialist International and to Veto a True Serbian Socialist Party, and what Right the does the Tadic Janissary fake Socialists have to be part of Socialist International?

The Tadic fake Socialists are the Bribed Puppets of Euro-American Capitalists who desperately crave to enrich themselves and betray their own People in order to all become Multi-Millionaires at the expense of the Serbian Workers and People, and at the expense of the reputation of the rest of the Socialist Parties of the World.

The Socialist Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, may also write to the Socialist International Headquarters, and to all Union Leaders, and to other Reasonable Non-Socialist Politicians with these concerns.

The thousands of identical letters or emails that should be sent as soon as practical; should mention that it is unacceptable for any Socialist Politicians to betray their own People in order to satisfy their Lust and Craving for Dirty Money from the Exploiting Capitalists of the European Union and America.

European Socialists should also use go on all the Blogs with these things, and use Talk Back Radio, and Twitter, and any other form of communication they think is Advantageous.

The Capitalists are very cunning and they will make Documentaries and use their paid Secret Agents to highlight the Tadic Socialists as an Example, and as a Warning to all Voters not to vote for the Left of any Country.

This is because they will say that the poorer Socialist Politicians are more likely to be the Puppets of the Capitalists, because the Right Wing Politicians are already rich, and cannot be Bribed.

The True Socialists of Europe should use this time to go on Television, and tell their European Citizens the truth regarding the Treacherous Tadic Socialists and the Kosovo matter.

If the Socialists of Europe do not do this, then the Capitalists will have the advantage of looking back at History, and chalking this Socialist Tadic and his Socialist fellow Puppets up to Socialist Movement Worldwide.

The Capitalists will say that Socialist Politicians Worldwide cannot be trusted just like Tadic and his fellow Bribed Socialist Puppets.

This is because Human Greed and Human Nature DEMANDS that flesh and blood will Eagerly BETRAY their own People in order to Receive the Dirty Bribe Money that they Lust and Crave for so Much from their Capitalist Puppet Masters.

This is why all Socialist Politicians Worldwide should work tirelessly to ensure that Every word of the Serbian Constitution, UNSCR 1244, and the UN Six Point Plan for Kosovo is Fully Implemented, because the European Capitalists will use it to consistently win Elections at the expense of the European Socialist Parties.

KFOR for the German commander of KFOR Erhard Drews, and to the German Population stands for Killing For Our Reich, that Must include a Greater Albania just like Hitler wanted.

Yes, the right for Serbia’s President Boris Tadic to do it is to admit what we Many of us already know to be True, and that is that Angela Merkel Bribed Serbian President Boris Tadic with Many Millions of Euros to be a Traitor.

President Boris Tadic Agreed to be Filmed by the Fourth Reich in Acts of Bestiality to ensure his continued Loyalty to the German cause of making a Fourth Reich on Continental Europe.

Serbia will then Conduct a Long Court Process that will become known Worldwide, and after the World has been Totally Saturated with this Matter, Boris Tadic should be Pardoned, if he shows enough Remorse for having been inadvertently led astray by the Fourth German Reich.

Many of us have Suspected that the Fourth German Reich was Bribing European Politicians, while Some of us have known this Fact for a Long Time that the Fourth German Reich Bribes Many European Politicians.

If Honest People with Honest Motives want to show Respect for the Law, then they have a Duty to Obey it Themselves. Furthermore, they Must do Everything in their Power to help others like the Kosovo Albanians have Respect for the Law, by Obeying it.

This is why Serbia Must Insist on every word of United Nations Security Council Six Point Plan for Kosovo that the United Nations Security Council Unanimously Voted for.

The United Nations Six Plan for Kosovo Explicitly Prohibits ANY Kosovo Albanian, or Kosovo Albanian Government Representative or Representatives at the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative checkpoints.

Obviously, there are Peace and Harmony Issues involved here also, but the Primary Reason for not having any Kosovo Albanian Government Representatives at the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative checkpoints, is because it is the Law.

Serbia Must Demand, Yes, Demand Loudly and Clearly at the United Nations, and by writing to all World Governments, on these Matters of there being Only One Law for Everyone.

This means that Must be and it is Unambiguous, Unequivocal, and having Only One Possible Meaning or Interpretation; that Everyone, including the Serbs Must have Full Equality Before The Law!

This means that Others Must Obey the Law, including the German Fourth Reich and Hitler’s Descendants who are now NATO Mercenaries, and the New Hitler’s Butchers.

The German commander of KFOR Commander Erhard Drews, knows how the Albanians Lies of blaming the Victim worked for the Albanians, and now he is trying to use it on Peaceful Serbs who have a right to have the Law respected and Obeyed by Everyone.

That Law includes the United Nations Six Plan for Kosovo Explicitly Prohibits ANY Kosovo Albanian, or Kosovo Albanian Government Representative or Representatives at the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative checkpoints.

The Tadic fake Socialists want to allow Albanians to be at the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative checkpoints, even though it is forbidden by Law, because they have received their Bribes; they have been Filmed in Acts of Bestiality, and now they must be the Fourth Reich’s Puppets, and they must be the Traitors to their own People, and Traitors to the Worldwide Socialist Movement.

This is just the same tactics that they used on the American Indians, where the Whites invaded the American Indians territory, and then they made a Treaty that looked good until the next time.

This allowing Albanians to be at the administrative crossing is just the thin edge of the wedge, and Tadic and his Fellow Traitors have already been Bribed by the German Fourth Reich that needs a Greater Albania just like Hitler wanted.

Tadic went to Germany to give the Socialists Worldwide a bad name of being Betrayers of their own People in order to help the Capitalists Worldwide win Elections against the Socialists, and to help Angela Merkel win her Election with Proof that the German Fourth Reich is being built with the help of the Vichy Serbs, along with the rest of the Vichy Euro Zone Countries.

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Anonymous Dec. 13, 2011, 1:57 a.m.    

Just as expected the Russia people prefer COMMUNISTS to the west-paid LIBErasts. Now Putin MUST listen to the will of the Russia people and press hard to create Eurasian Union as successor of the USSR.

The same thing is happening in Ukraine - the Ukraine COMMUNISTS are getting more public support and will win majority seats in rada. The leader of the UKP already state the intent of his party to steer Ukraine towards joining the Customs Union instead of the broke EU.

Soon the Ukraine people will be able to call the most popular politician in Ukraine - mr Putin their President too as Ukraine joins the Eurasian Union.

So start dusting your Russian language, xoxols, heh, heh, heh :D

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Anonymous Dec. 14, 2011, 10:16 a.m.    

Go home, Mongol. Most of Ukraine does not support communists, not even in the east. And if the east wants to be part of the &quot;union&quot;, the center and west will go its own way. And no one will help you this time when you start bitching about having no food. Hopefully you'll rot.

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Anonymous Dec. 14, 2011, 11:48 p.m.    

LOL, retrded orange xoxol loser. The Ukraine people DEFINITELY do not like the orange mafia any better than the Russia people like the Russia LIBErasts. Because both the orange traitors and the Russia LIBErasts sold their constituency to their US masters and in result the economies of the both countries went into a tail spin. Russia defaulted while Ukraine registered the worst economy slump not only in Europe but also amongst the rest CIS countries.

The POR did well in 2009 because the Ukraine people HATE the orange criminals. The Ukraine communists are doing much better and will win disillusioned voters from both POR and the orange criminals mafia.

Noone gives a shit about W Ukraine, and so far as I'm concerned it can go to the dogs - the W Ukraine have no geo-political significance unlike Crimea and the industrialized E Ukraine feeds the retarded W Ukraine peasants.

So dust your Russian laguage, loser xoxol, heh, heh, heh :D

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