United Communist Party responds to Russian presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin

Reply of the Central Committee of the United Communist Party to the candidate for the presidency of the Russian Federation P.N. Grudinin 

February 27, 2018

Dear Pavel Nikolaevich,

The Central Committee of the United Communist Party (OKP) responds to your communication, which was received on February 20, as follows.

The United Communist Party, on November 26, 2017, appealed to all communist and left parties with a proposal to formulate demands for the presidential election in 2018 and to create a common platform, without linking it to a specific candidate. Unfortunately, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), which nominated you as its candidate for the post of president of the Russian Federation, not only did not support this initiative, but did not even respond to it.

As a result, three candidates from three communist, leftist parties were nominated. Two of these candidates will now participate in the March 18 elections. [Grudinin and Maksim Suraikin of the Communists of Russia party will appear on the ballot. Natalya Lisitsyna of the ROT Front was disqualified on technical grounds by the Central Election Commission.]

The United Communist Party regards the upcoming “election” as an act of crowning the incumbent head of state, a theatrical farce, an imitation of democratic procedures by the current Bonapartist Russian regime. In this situation, the task of any left-wing candidate is to use the tribune presented by the bourgeois state to explain to citizens the essence of the Russian socio-economic and political system, to speak of the necessity for revolutionary change, of a united struggle for socialist transformation. The communist candidate should first of all explain to citizens the need for an organized struggle for these transformations in the coming years, after the “election” performance. The claim that the situation can be changed by casting a ballot every five years, which is defended by the KPRF and its candidate, the OKP considers manipulation.

In your appeal, you called upon us to support your candidacy, promising “to use your proposals and demands during the election campaign.” Such a proposal does not satisfy the OKP, because it is not a question of a single program and a single tactic.

On February 10, 2018, at the plenum of the Central Committee of the party, we called on voters “not to support the incumbent President Putin and the bourgeois candidates in the election campaign.”

If you are truly a left candidate, you have the right to inform the electorate of such major provisions of the OKP program as the abolition of the office of the President of the Russian Federation; support for restoring Soviet power; confiscation of oligarchic property and placing of it under control of labor collectives; an immediate introduction of planned management of the economy; the introduction of a 35-hour work week without loss of wages; restoration of the full spectrum of rights and guarantees for unions; empowerment of labor collectives with the right to initiate referenda and the right to nominate candidates for participation in elections; a broad amnesty for political prisoners; elimination from criminal law of articles making possible criminal prosecution for political reasons; liquidation of the institutions of political investigation (FSO, the unit for combating “extremism” within the Ministry of Internal Affairs); and other major positions.

We hope that voters themselves will evaluate your position and make their choice.

After the election, together with representatives of other left forces, we plan to conduct an analysis of your actions during the election campaign as candidate of the KPRF.

The program and tactics of the left forces and their presidential candidate should not just request voters to drop ballots into the ballot box, but mobilize citizens both to protect the results of their votes and to participate in the subsequent transformations of the country. It is of fundamental importance to orient working people to fight for their own interests, and not to passively wait for a “good president.”

In the struggle, you will find your rights!

V.I. Lakeev, First Secretary of the OKP Central Committee  


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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