Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 112

Observers are warning that the Communist Party of Russia, its sympathizers, and hardline groups in general, continue to lead in pre-election polls. Dmitri Olshanskii of the Strategic Analysis and Forecast Center said Wednesday that up to two-thirds of the new Duma could consist of Communists and their potential allies. In the past thirty days, Olshankii asserted, the Russia is Our Home party led by prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin has fallen from second to fifth place in the political ratings. But while the Communist Party continues to outstrip and "increasingly outpace its rivals," Olshanskii pointed out that the results really reflect the declining influence of other political forces, rather than an increase of the Communists’ influence per se. The Communist Party seems to be benefiting from nothing more complicated than name recognition. Older citizens in particular react positively to it. (4)

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