October 14, 2011
The Communist party has released its election program, titled “Return the Stolen Motherland.” On some major points, the document has much in common with the program of the ruling United Russia party, and the government’s declared priorities.
If successful at the elections, the Communists intend to form a government of national trust, which will be responsible for implementing the program.
Domestically, the Communists advocate the nationalization of most industrial sectors, including energy, metallurgy, railways and aviation. To secure economic growth, they propose new Land, Forest and Water Codes and a new law on natural resources that would “consolidate state ownership.” In a word, their goal is “new industrialization” and “non-stop modernization” – somewhat similar to the policies which Dmitry Medvedev set as his priorities when he took office as president and which he intends to develop if he becomes prime minister in 2012.
Their view of the country’s military potential also echoes a recent statement by Dmitry Medvedev that Russia needs a strong army and that it cannot afford to cut the defense budget. It is this issue which became a bone of contention between the president and former Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin, who was dismissed last month. Kudrin disagreed with the Russian leadership on budget policies, and in particular, military expenditure. As for the Communist Party, it prefers not to specify exact figures, saying only that they are “for worthy financing of the armed forces” and are against “mindless reform of the army.”
In the social sphere, the Communist Party intends to introduce a progressive income tax rate to double the financing of science and research and return free education and healthcare for all – all sectors which have been decimated under the current government.
“The merciless fight against corruption” is another major task for the Communists. Again, on this issue, their rhetoric does not differ much from that of the ruling party and anti-corruption policies of Dmitry Medvedev.
In foreign policy, the Communist Party will direct its efforts to enhancing the role of the UN and the dissolution of NATO. It also aims to expand co-operation with China, India and Vietnam, as well as other Asian, Latin American and African countries. As far as the former Soviet states are concerned, the party wants Russia to regain its role as a center of attraction in the post-Soviet space and calls for convergence of the republics. This is in line with a recent statement of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who announced ambitions of creating a Eurasian Union. The Communists also intend to strengthen cooperation within the Union State of Russia and Belarus.