On November 26, 2016, Moscow hosted the Second Congress of the United Communist Party (OKP). The party was established two years ago by activists who for reasons of principle left the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, as well as representatives of some regional left-wing social movements. The Credentials Committee accepted the credentials of all 78 delegates elected to the Congress, representing the party organizations of the Central Federal District, Siberia, the Far East, the North Caucasus, the North-West, Urals, Volga, and southern Russia.
In two years, the party has passed through the difficult stage of its initial formation. Party branches were formed in dozens of regions of the country. Experience was gained in organizing street protests and participating in election campaigns. At the initiative of the OKP, round tables and conferences on various topical issues were held. The party’s education program is gradually developing.
The search continues for the people, initiatives and forms of work which will allow the OKP to become a true expression of the needs and aspirations of the broad masses of working people. Many party offices need to dramatically intensify their activities. While maintaining the core cadre is crucial, the inflow of new members is clearly insufficient, and discipline in the implementation of decisions is lax. So far it has not been possible to secure official state registration of the OKP, which would increase the opportunities of the party.
These and other issues, achievements and problems of the OKP and the communist movement as a whole, were described in the reports of the Central Committee and the Central Auditing Commission of the OKP, which were presented by their leaders, Vladimir Lakeev and Alexander Shchegolev, as well as in the speeches of the Congress delegates. Everyone who wanted to speak was able to. Speaking from the podium were communists from Moscow, St. Petersburg-Leningrad, Chelyabinsk, Ryazan, Yaroslavl, Sverdlovsk, Penza, Novosibirsk, Crimea, Khakasia, Chuvashia, Chechnya and Ingushetia. There were valid criticisms, and suggestions for strengthening the work.
The Congress plenary session began with the sad news of the death of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz. Secretary of the Central Committee for International Affairs Darya Mitina was tasked by the delegates to send a telegram to the Communist Party of Cuba on behalf of the Congress and to visit the consulate of the liberated island.
Letters of greeting were read from the Russian Communist Workers’ Party and Workers World Party of the United States. The floor was given to guests of the Congress: Pavel Zotov, representative of the Union of Ukrainian Political Refugees and the friendly party “Borotba” that unites the consistent Marxists of Ukraine, as well as the well-known leftist intellectual, Professor Alexander Buzgalin.
Members and alternate members of the Central Committee, and members of the Central Auditing Commission, were elected by secret ballot. The central bodies ensured representation by the most active regional offices, and of different positions on some issues of party ideology which emerged during the Congress.
The first plenum of the new Central Committee elected the Presidium of the Central Committee of the OKP. VI Lakeev was re-elected as First Secretary of the OKP CC. Members of the Presidium of the Central Committee and Secretaries in different areas: AI Porotikov, DV Sommer, SI Seregin, DA Mitin, SJ Ivannikov (all Moscow); AY Baranov (Ryazan region); IV Smorgon (Moscow region). The Presidium also includes KE Vasiliev (Leningrad region), AO Terentyev (St. Petersburg), NK Fedoruk (Chelyabinsk region), NV Plotnikov (Ivanovo region), AS Chupanov (Orel region), SF Dougal, EE Grouse, VF Monakhov, VG Emelyanov, SV Nikitin (all Moscow). AP Shchegolev was elected Chair of the Central Auditing Commission (Moscow).
Translated by Greg Butterfield