Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 158

While leaders of the new Union of Right-Wing Forces went on the defensive, their main rivals, Fatherland-All Russia, the center-left coalition led by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and former Prime Minster Yevgeny Primakov and the main rival of the new Union of Right-Wing Forces, released its platform. The document, which was released over the weekend (August 28), calls for the transfer of some of the prerogatives now reserved for the presidency to the parliament and the prime minister and his cabinet. It also says that while the coalition opposes a return to a Soviet-style command economy, it supports greater government regulation of the economy. The platform also called for granting Yeltsin “security” after the end of his presidential term next June.

Fatherland-All Russia also approved the top three candidates on its list for December’s parliamentary contest–Primakov, Luzhkov and St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev, respectively (Russian agencies, August 28).

Fatherland-All Russia is presenting a major challenge not only to pro-Kremlin groupings such as the Union of Right-Wing Forces, but also to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF). On August 27, the Agrarian Party, traditionally closely allied with the KPRF, voted to join Fatherland-All Russia. KPRF leadership tried to put the best face on what was clearly a blow: Unnamed sources close to the party leadership said that the KPRF presidium voted yesterday in a closed session to ally with sixteen of the seventy-nine regional organizations of the Agrarian Party which had voted against an alliance with Fatherland-All Russia (Russian agencies, August 29).

The left, led by the KPRF, has been having problems which very much resemble those of the right. The left’s attempts to put together a wide “national patriotic” electoral coalition called “For Victory!” have foundered, with various allied parties–including the more centrist Spiritual Heritage movement (headed by Aleksei Podberezkin), the Movement in Support of the Army (headed by KPRF maverick leftist radical maverick Viktor Ilukhin), and a bulk of the Agrarians–refusing to join in. Thus, according to anonymous sources, the KPRF–joined by twelve Agrarians led by their Duma faction leader, Nikolai Kharitonov–is likely largely to go it alone in the December parliamentary elections (Russian agencies, August 29).