Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 47

The second channel of Russian television, RTR, last night highlighted contradictory statements by two leading Communists on this question. (1) At a press conference yesterday, the Communist presidential candidate, Gennady Zyuganov, repeated earlier assurances that business people have nothing to fear from a Communist victory. Zyuganov said the economy would continue to consist of both state-owned and privately-owned sectors. There would, he said, be no "redistribution of property," that is to say, no expropriations. However, RTR went on, Gennady Seleznev, the Communist speaker of the Duma, said something quite different in an interview published that same day in Komsomolskaya pravda. Seleznev in his interview predicted that, in the event of a Communist victory, a progressive tax would be introduced on factories, private residences and shops, the aim being to force proprietors to sell their properties. If a private buyer could not be found (which would be likely, given the high tax on such property), the state would buy the objects back at a price set by the state which the seller would have no choice but to accept.

To judge by Seleznev’s words, RTR concluded, it is clear that redistribution of property is being planned. "Whom should one believe, Zyuganov or Seleznev?" RTR asked. RTR also reported, without giving further details, that the Communist party had been holding consultations with "influential bankers who formerly belonged to the nomenklatura of the Soviet Communist party" to discuss "the nationalization of small commercial banks and transport organizations." (2)

Zyuganov Woos Agrarians.