>By depriving the people of an opportunity to participate in honest and free elections and blocking the way for opposition to be involved in the political process, the authorities make it impossible to correct a course leading this country to a disaster. People deprived of the right to choose can simply lose confidence in the authorities and at some point take the fate of the country in its own hands. Like they once did in the past.
— Gennady Zyuganov, Chair, Communist Party of the Russian Federation; excerpt from letter to President Putin
In previous posts we have indicated that the first public announcement of Oleg Shenin’s candidacy for Russia’s 2008 presidential election occurred on August 19, 2006, the 15th anniversary of the “hardline” communist coup, in which Shenin participated and for which he was jailed in the early 1990s. In the appeal below Shenin, chair of the restored/continuing Communist Party of the Soviet Union, refers to a radio interview, apparently conducted eight months ago, in which he broached the subject of his candidacy. That interview would have taken place in or around April. In either case, the plans for the resurrection of the USSR, as stated in this blogsite’s banner, were formulated long before its collapse.
Comrade Shenin is pictured below with Le Kha Phieu, Secretary General of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam between 1997 and 2001. Shenin visited Vietnam in 2000. (We have also documented in previous blogs how pal Gennady Zyuganov secretly accompanied President Putin to the 2006 APEC summit in Hanoi and met communist officials.)
NEW-YEAR APPEAL TO THE SOVIET PEOPLE
December 26, 2006
Although the living together people now of [otgorozheny] from each other by the artificial boundarys, which divided “independent variables and sovereign” of republic, Soviet people as the historical generality of people, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics legally continue to exist. Union agreement dated December 30, 1922, as the sums of national referendum dated March 17, 1991 no one abolished, and abolish cannot
All you, dear comrades, from the soul I congratulate on the offensive of new year!
From our main holidays new year in the Soviet time was always the holiday of glad expectations, hopes, which happen, the plans, which realize. We knew that if the leader of the party and government, supreme commander-in-chief said: “There will be also on our street holiday”, it means, so it will be.
Today Soviet people comes to the encounter of 2007 with ever more clear realization of the fact that in 15 years of its supremacy the counterrevolution destroyed the country, threw the Great Power under the feet of foreign monopolies, brought down it to the position of colony. This is – the grave crime, which does not have the period of remoteness. To answer for it for traitors it is necessary without fail and not once in the distant future, it is virtual, but in the very near future.
However, the chain of treacheries and crimes against its own people continues today. As soon as became is completely clear the rapid crash “of the party of authority”, “united Russia” – united in the sense of the corporate stealing of public wealth within the framework of the caste of high-ranking officials, [polittekhnologi] urgently created it for the change two more “valid” and “free”.
But are there between them fundamental differences? Certainly, no! “Russia”, to which they gave the name of valid it will be the same only in the plan “valid” distribution of surplus value depending on the size of capital, which consist of it terms. But that, which they called by free, exists and will remain such only by the force “of the freedom” of the stiffening of operation and oppression of hired labor. They all – the leeches, that suck out last vital juices in working people. As, however, and practically all registered by regime political parties, which the concerned by fight with the extremism President gathered in newly -[Ogareve] in the year before the parlimentary elections.
Only our general and friendly work on the return to authority to the hands of working class and peasants can give basis for the optimism with the look into the future. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union does not have more important task. It is obvious that everything depends on the course of events in Russia. The presidential elections of 2008 this is why will be last and only legal possibility for its peaceful solution.
Eight months ago I in the radio-interview publicly stated about the intention to advance my candidature on the post of the President RF on the forthcoming elections. This statement widely was discussed and met positive response in the overwhelming majority. I please your active support, the respected fellow citizens, and I certify, that it is ready to work with the complete return and to appear before the judgment of people for the unsatisfactory results of its administration.
It is completely obvious that the basic conditions of the fraternal unity of peoples, revival of the great fatherland, will be the complete voluntariness and the equality of rights of the reuniting themselves peoples, the socialist nature of development and the authority of the working in the form councils.
There are no doubts, that in the new year only our general efforts will allow people to arise from the elbows, they will be real step forward toward the social progress, authentic democracy – the Soviet regime on the example “Stalin” constitution of the USSR, by whom 70 years were recently carried out!
Chairman of Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Oleg Shenin
And from what source does the capitalist occupation of the USSR originate, according to presidential wanna-be Shenin? Lifting a page from one of fellow socialist Adolf Hitler’s speeches or those of the Jew-baiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Comrade Shenin identifies Zionism as the source of “post”-communist Russia’s woes: “Zionism now is a force of a class character, it is the vanguard of world imperialism. It did played in the past, plays now and wants to play in future considerable part in enslavement of peoples, in building up the “new world order” – the regime of superexploitation and genocide of the working people of all nationalities. It’s a fact. Karl Marx characterised class essence of Zionism as mercantilised one, as financial oligarchy and now we see this more and more.”
Concurrently, in a lengthy missive to President Vladimir Putin, Comrade Zyuganov–who heads the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, presently the Russian section of the restored CPSU–accuses Russia’s “party of power,” the crypto-Stalinist United Russia, of rolling back “democracy” and issues a veiled threat to overthrow the Putinist-Chekist-Surkovist-Gryzlovist regime. The letter below is published at the website of the CPSU’s North American propaganda office, the International Council of Friendship and Solidarity with Soviet People.
Statement by the CPRF to President Putin
To Russian President Vladimir Putin,
A.A. Veshnyakov, the Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission,
V.D. Zorkin, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court,
V.M. Lebedev, the Chairman of the Supreme Court,
Yuri Chaika, the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation;
To the Russian public
The practice of holding elections at various levels in Russia turns people’s voting into an open farce.
Broad public control over the 2003 parliamentary elections revealed dozens of gross violations of the election law. However, the judicial system of the Russian Federation, in a bid to please the executive bodies of state power and also under their pressure, has refused to consider even the most obvious manifestations of election fraud. The Strasbourg Court for Human Rights is considering our lawsuit on the grossest o these violations. It is extremely regrettable that justice should be sought outside Russia. However, the state of the Russian judicial system is such that we can hardly count on any kind of justice.
Elections to local legislatures were held in nine Russian regions on October 8, 2006. Their results are still in the spotlight of public attention. Once again they proved a sad fact: government structures use the election process in Russia as an object for manipulation.
An entire system of election rigging has been formed. The use of the mass media, especially television, is its key element. A lion’s share of TV air time is allotted to the United Russia Party, its allies in the person of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and new pseudo-opposition parties. The fact of total domination of the ruling party in the media has been reported by numerous experts and has been reflected in reports by international observers. On the contrary, the opposition is still deprived of access to the electronic media despite statements by the Russian leadership. Moreover, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation has been the target of an incessant smear campaign which becomes particularly harsh during elections. The methods and style of famous TV anchorman Karaulov known as “karaulovshchina” has affected even local television channels which often turn election campaigning into a psychological war against candidates opposed to the authorities. As a result, the voter is denied access to truthful information about the activities and election platforms of opposition forces. He doesn’t have an opportunity to make a well-considered political choice.
The rude use of administrative resource for influencing the minds and opinion of citizens has been legalized. The practice of so-called “locomotives” – when high-ranking bureaucrats head party election rolls without an intention to work in legislative bodies has become legitimate. Consequently, we are dealing with unconcealed deceit of voters. Concurrently, it’s a signal for lower-ranking bodies of power to ensure the victory of a “right” political force.
Sergei Mironov, the Speaker of the Russian Federation Council (he also tops the regional register of candidates from the Party of Life in the Lipetsk region), demonstrably abused his powers. On October 7, when the election lull took effect, the newspaper “Lipetskaya Gazeta” – the printed publication of the regional administration and the Council of Deputies- published Mironov’s extensive interview.
The governor of the Jewish Autonomous Region, N. M. Volkov, used a Saturday before the elections for illegal media propaganda without ceremony. V.V. Yakimov, the mayor of Kamensk-Uralskiy, a city in the Sverdlovsk region, openly campaigned for United Russia on the day of vote.
Public servants, including teachers, doctors and municipal workers, come under powerful pressure to ensure the “victory” of such candidates and their party election rolls. They are used to ensure voter turnout and the “right” choice of candidates and parties. The practice of forcing social workers to convince old people in the need to vote for candidates selected by the authorities has been disgusting.
The economic and administrative pressure on village residents dependent on local authorities in life-support issues has turned into a disgraceful norm. They are simply forced to vote on orders for fear of reprisals. The biggest manipulations are registered in rural areas. The election turnout in the cities and villages of the Novgorod region stood at 23% and 50%, respectively. Twenty-three percent of city electors voted for United Russia and 26% for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. In rural areas, 50% voted for United Russia and 11% for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The picture is almost the same in other regions.
Portable ballot boxes are another major source of election rigging. In some places, up to 10% of voters who cast their ballots turned out to be “sick or disabled” to personally come to polling stations. The figure was almost 16% in the Lipetsk region. There is no doubt that it’s the way to ensure the election turnout and the “necessary” result. In the Lipetsk region, imaginary success accompanied both branches of the “party of power”. The United Russia gained 42% of the vote while the little known “Party of Life” got 12%.
The scale of election fraud in the Republic of Tuva was so big that the electoral commission in Kyzyl was simply forced to declare the elections in four out of six one-seat constituencies as invalid.
In the Astrakhan region, a sequence of violations was complete with an incident involving representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) who were members of the district territorial commission. They ousted observers from other parties and blocked the vote count for two days. As a result, three sets of “authentic” protocols with various figures came into existence.
The situation is expected to get worse in the near future. The election legislation is being reshaped. The practice that discredited itself and was abandoned several years ago is hastily being reinstated.
Early voting has been allowed. A considerable segment of election procedures has in this way been taken out of public control. Voters become even more unprotected to the pressure exerted by employers. The basis for a new wave of manipulations is being created.
Electronic voting is being introduced. The example of the Novgorod region shows that it doesn’t quite fall into the framework of the election legislation. The systems of automatic processing of ballot-papers provide for the existence of these ballot papers at least. Electronic vote systems are widely being introduced. They exclude the use of any ballot-papers. Despite being simply too complicated for voters, electronic equipment makes any elections senseless because it is impossible to control or review the election results.
Bans on registration of unsuitable candidates and entire party election rolls and cancellation of registrations have become widespread. Many countries don’t have such practices at all. In Russia, a candidate or a party can be denied registration on 25 official grounds. There are five grounds for crossing out a candidate’s name from the list, four grounds for annulling registration and 30 grounds allowing courts to cancel the registration.
Attempts are being made to accuse opposition candidates of extremism and ban them from elections on this ground. Starting of this year, any criticism of the authorities can be interpreted as extremism if necessary.
With so many manipulations and the distortion of people’s will, citizens are losing interest in elections and stop believing any candidates. And what do they get in return? The Russian State Duma has simply cancelled column “against all candidates” in ballot-papers. It’s much simpler than restoring people’s confidence in the election system.
The purpose of all the latest election novelties is not to correct the existing situation. On the contrary, new opportunities for election rigging are being created.
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation would like to call attention to the fact that the ruling grouping in Russia is consistently cracking down on universally-accepted democratic norms.
We call on all public and political forces of the country to join us in creating an effective system of control over regional and local elections, parliamentary elections in 2007 and presidential elections in 2008.
We insist that officials to whom we address this appeal explain their position publicly in terms set by the law.
We certainly understand that the sophisticated system of manipulation has been created conscientiously. It is designed to strengthen the rule of bureaucrats and ‘oligarchs”. At the same time, it would be useful for the country’s leadership to think about possible consequences of introducing such a system. The question is not just in the legitimacy of power based on fraud and lawlessness.
By depriving the people of an opportunity to participate in honest and free elections and blocking the way for opposition to be involved in the political process, the authorities make it impossible to correct a course leading this country to a disaster. People deprived of the right to choose can simply lose confidence in the authorities and at some point take the fate of the country in its own hands.
Like they once did in the past.
G. A. Zyuganov
Chairman of the Central Committee
Communist Party of the Russian Federation
Unimpeachable documentation such as that reproduced above demonstrates that Soviet communists still call the shots in Russia–otherwise Stalinists like Shenin and Zyuganov would have long since been executed. Be assured, communists still believe in communism! Chairman Shenin and pal Gennady are no exceptions.