AN UPDATE ON THE EURASIAN PARTY

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AN UPDATE ON THE EURASIAN PARTY

Gazeta, April 29, 2002, p. 4

The Eurasian Party was formed by the Orthodox Unity, Chechen Solidarity, St. Petersburg Patriots, Congress of the Buddhist Peoples, and Refax (an Islamic movement). Party leader Niyazov, a Duma deputy, claims that the party has 35,000 activists. Secretary of State of the Russian-Belarussian Union Pavel Borodin was elected chairman of the observatory council.

The second congress of the party was greeted and welcomed by Muammar Qaddafi, the House of Lords of the British Parliament, and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. The party’s faction in the Duma comprises 32 deputies from all parties save the Union of Right Forces and LDPR.

In his report to the party’s congress, Niyazov suggested solutions to a lot of the problems plaguing the state. The Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service will be helped in their war on skinheads by “volunteers assisting the law enforcement agencies to protect normal people from extremists and all sorts of thugs calling themselves fans”. “We will advertise in newspapers,” Niyazov said, “selecting the non-drinking, non-smokers, men with families, who have served in the army.”

Niyazov advocated for polygamy as a solution to demographic problems. The congress applauded.

The party drew up several legislative initiatives against prostitution, drugs, and “sexual perversions”. “Gennadi Raikov’s People’s Party is doing a lot to preserve the family and moral values,” Niyazov said.

NO MASS RIOTS IN MAY

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 29, 2002, p. 2

Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov said: “I had just returned from my constituency. I’m under the impression that social tension there is mounting in different strata – from employees of the public sector to pensioners and even state officials. This happens mostly because of the rising price, higher tariffs on communal services, prices of medicines and transport fares. I do not rule out the possibility therefore that in some regions actions staged by trade unions may escalate into mass demonstrations. Like what we saw in Voronezh. They are unlikely to happen everywhere because the situation on the whole is stable.

Andrei Ryabov of the Carnegie Foundation said: “As I see it, the fears of grandiose social conflicts are exaggerated. There will be nothing extraordinary. The Communists will do their best to bring as many men as they can onto the streets to show that the situation has benefited them. We can also expect more radical slogans from them”.

Georgy Satarov of INDEM Foundation: “I do not expect anything extraordinary. The Communists will hold demonstrations of course, but nothing extreme”.

Konstantin Zatulin of the Institute of CIS States: “As far as I know, the Communists will try to organize some mass demonstrations but even if they did, it will not be in Moscow.

MATVIENKO WILL HEAD A NEW PARTY

Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 30, 2002, p. 2

Replacing the Communist Party with something milder and more manageable has been the pet idea of the Kremlin’s political technologists for a long time. At first, an alternative party was offered to Gennadi Seleznev. There are now new rumors in this regard. According to them, Deputy Premier Valentina Matvienko is supposed to head the proposed structure, which will in essence bury the CPRF. This choice of proposed leadership is logical. As a deputy premier in charge of social issues, Matvienko is seen by the masses as someone directly associated with the problems the Communist Party usually utilises in its role as an opposition party. These include low salaries and pensions, high number of child destitute and orphans, high death rate, etc. In short, the whole spectrum of Zyuganov’s program. Besides, the voters are not yet fed up with Matvienko as a potential party leader, not like leaders of the opposition.

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