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  Wednesday, October 28, 2020
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A new left-of-center European-style political party could appear in Russia soon
A new left-of-center European-style political party could appear in Russia soon, thereby acting as a counterbalance to United Russia, Valery Bogomolov, the secretary of the presidium of United Russia's general council, said yesterday. Mr. Bogomolov said the Kremlin was planning to establish the party, writes Gazeta. "The president's plans to reform society envisage the emergence of a major left-of-center party as a counterbalance to the right-wing United Russia party," said Mr. Bogomolov. "Russia's Social Democrats can occupy this niche." "I can only say that it will not be Homeland, as we need a social-oriented, European-type party," added Mr. Bogomolov. The party of power enjoys a constitutional majority in the State Duma with 304 seats. This poses a certain danger, because it is criticized for every unpopular law. The emergence of right- and left-wing parties "outside" the Duma would give United Russia some security. Homeland, which portrayed itself as a moderately left-wing party in the parliamentary elections, was supposed to play the role of a manageable left wing. However, Homeland leader Dmitry Rogozin's recent statements indicate that the party has taken up to a radical nationalist position. "The Kremlin is unlikely to divide United Russia in the current circumstances," believes Alexei Makarkin, the deputy general director of the Center for Political Technologies. "Therefore, the left-of-center Russian Patriots coalition [led by State Duma member Gennady Semigin who was expelled from the Communist Party for "factious" activities] and the leftist Party of Russia's Revival [led by ex-Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov] will be prompted to unite." Mark Urnov, the chairman of the Expertiza foundation, said that parties like Russian Patriots and the Agrarian Party would be used to create a new leftwing party. The expert believes Mr. Seleznyov could become the leader of a new party.
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