Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 120

Russian Communist Party chairman Gennady Zyuganov said in a recent interview that the new Duma "will not be homogenous, but it is important to create a national-patriotic majority in it". (13) With his party the current front-runner in opinion polls, the Communist leader also foresees sharing the floor of parliament with "Russia is Our Home", the Congress of Russian Communities, the Liberal Democrats and "Yabloko." According to Zyuganov, the Communists can reach agreement with a number of key people including "Yabloko" chairman Yavlinsky, despite the quite obvious ideological differences. As he put it, "if [Yavlinsky] stopped regarding the country as a laboratory for his experiments, he could be a good partner in a political dialogue."

On the other hand, he did not count Vladimir Zhirinovsky among his party’s potential allies because "it is impossible to do business" with such an "unpredictable" man. Zyuganov’s comments provided yet another illustration of the middle-of-the-road image being cultivated by Russia’s Communists, as they try to boost their appeal and dissociate themselves from extremism of any form. Zyuganov concluded his remarks with his opinion that today’s Party does not have to answer for the sins of the past.

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