Guest Editorial

Elections in Russia - Duma and Presidential

By Oleg Shenin, Chairman of the
Union of Communist Parties - CPSU

Oleg Shenin of the UCP-CPSU is not the same as Oleg Shein of the trade union "Defense" - note of the web-site administrator.

Dear readers:

Below we give a condensed version of an important policy speech that was made on October 2, 1999 to a meeting of representatives of way over twenty parties, organizations and others that constitute this political union. Oleg Shenin is now also the Chairman of the International Committee "For Union and Brotherhood of Peoples". Keep in mind that these remarks were meant in forging a much needed UNITED FRONT BLOC for the December Duma elections and the forthcoming presidential elections in July of year 2000.

In 1999, as in the past 100 years, in this world of ours there is ruling contemporary ultra-imperialism, while all of the former Soviet Republics, excluding only one, more and more rapidly are sinking into the quagmire and the hands of capitalism.

The internal situation in the territories of the USSR shows the polarization of classes in society. The situation in all the regions is getting worse and worse with each passing day. Now, practically near the southern borders of the Soviet Union there are local conflicts and wars. Our society was shaken by the bomb blasts in our cities lately, with hundreds of lives lost. These terrorist attacks are not coincidental, but planned and coordinated with the civil strife on the southern borders of the Soviet Union.

About these important questions we talked already at the First Congress of the people of the Caucasus, which was held in the capital of Kabardino-Balgarii Nalchike at the end of last September. As was to be expected, the daily Russian "democratic" press completely ignored this very important meeting that pointed out the potential of serious conflicts in the Caucasus.

In the statement issued by the UNO "About development of peoples resources in 1999", Russia was in 71st place, together with countries such as Samoa, Lebanon, Rumania and others. In this list Byelorussia is in 60th place... the exception as I mentioned before.

United Nations Organization itself declared that by the elimination of Socialism and coming into Capitalism "the situation became very grave for Soviet people. The death rate in former USSR is staggering, with men dying at an early age due to lack of medicines, nutritious food and other ills of capitalism."

Even according to the official government statistics, in the first half of 1999 there were over 52 million people in poverty - which is more than twice that in 1998.

Under the slogans of bourgeois democracy the situation has given birth to a large comprador capitalist class sponsored by the present regime.

Under this condition we are ending 1999 and coming into the millennium of year 2000, the year of elections in many former Soviet republics. On October 10th in Kazakhstan, there were scandalous elections, now in Ukraine and in Georgia on October 31... and in mostly all the former republics. The elections to the Russian Duma are on December 19 while in March of year 2000 parliamentary elections will be held in Kirghizia. The election process shall end with the presidential elections in year 2000 in Russia.

Judging, the Communists gained a victory... over 40% of all the votes. The Communist Party in South Ossetia had a majority and the chairman of the Supreme Soviet there is the First Secretary of the Communist Party, comrade S.Y. Kochiev. The Communist Party of Byelorussia has its representatives in the parliament, including its First Secretary V.V. Chikin. This then proves (if we're able to take advantage of it) that Communists now have some examples on which to base their future success and take advantage of the bourgeois parliamentary election system.

But let us not be naive, the present capitalist regime and their foreign masters are also looking very closely at the results that I have mentioned. As a result, these opportunists in power are forming all sorts of "election blocs" trying and sometimes succeeding in dismembering the unity amongst all the Communists by having their agents and provocateurs inside these movements.

That is why it is imperative, looking at these machinations, falsification and outright attempted killings to unite in these coming elections. Also, these bourgeois opportunists and their foreign masters are asking themselves as to how to disorganize more than 30 thousand Russians in the Crimea, over 700,000 Russians living in the Caucasus, and other thousands of Russian living all over the land of the Soviet Union.

V.I. Lenin warned us even in 1916 as to the machinations of all the bourgeoisie during elections.

How are we as Communists coming prepared to contest these elections? Are we united and are we following the unified decision that all of us made at the XXXI Congress of the Union of Communist Parties-CPSU... to go into elections as One Unified Front, not only in Russia but in all former Soviet republics? Unfortunately this idea that was unanimously adopted by ALL parties at that Congress did not become realized!

The decision which was adopted unanimously by all the participants of the UCP-CPSU on June 12... unfortunately did not produce the results that the tragic situation in Russia demands.

The last time we approached the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and also the Russian Communist Workers Party was in the middle of August. Unfortunately, all the ideological differences - and above all, the political ambitions of the leadership of these parties prevented this unified front.

This unfortunate disunity, whether we like it or not, shall be reflected also in other former Soviet Republics. The so-called Liberals are consolidating their forces and forming unified blocs against the left forces. The tactic now is to fool the people by setting up blocs that pretend that they are "left" while in essence they are social democratic, the same forces that are in power in Western Europe who gleefully agreed to bomb Yugoslavia in the name of "peace".

Unfortunately, and this is a paradox, that the most numerous groups-blocs going into the elections are of the left. Thus, on the left, there are many columns, sections, divisions, fronts, in total there are 6 Election Blocs instead of one united front. Of course, this situation shall bring up the split in anti-regime votes. Even though the popularity rating for Yeltsin is at 1% and according to the Government's own gallop poll, more than 80% are against privatization and want to return to a socialist society. Only about 3% of those polled stated that they are better off now then they were under Socialism.

What a tremendous public feeling that the Communists can or could exploit by a unified front! This is very well understood by the present reactionary regime and all their foreign masters. One of the most vile and bitter anti-Communists said: "It is necessary now to combine an election front that will represent the will of a majority of people. It is also obvious that a majority of Russian people are those that are protesting the present conditions. Let us be realistic, let's look into the eyes for truth. If we are able to attach ourselves to this wave of potential protesters, we shall be the winners!"

Let us learn from our enemies... our disunity is a great gain for the reactionary forces, since they have the power of finances, media, resources and foreign backing.

Today, it's not only the communists, but also liberal-radicals who clearly classify that their enemy is the unity between such as Primakov, Kuzhkov and others who already are promising the left forces some part in their government if they win.

If we are to listen closely to the rhetoric of these left-centrists, then in their public speeches they're practically no different from the communists. These former supporters of Yeltsin's regime, now, during the election campaign are using the Communist slogans, plus calling the present clique a "regime" and other slogans meant to fool the electorate. They promote on the media that it is they, the "centrists" who will get things going again economically. That is also why, through consistent barrage on the media, over 47% of those polled said that they want to see in the position of president, not a political figure but an economic figure! Thus, unfortunately, under such heavy barrage of misinformation there is a real possibility of many votes switching from the left to the centrists. This is due to no unity by Communists and thus no unified election bloc.

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