Kremlin considering resumption of election bloc practice

The formation of party blocs, which proved efficient in the elections of 1999, may resume with the weakening of the United Russia position, Nezavisimaya Gazeta said on Monday.

"The law on election blocs may become a part of Russian politics again in the next election cycle. The Presidential Administration is considering this initiative. The reason is the weakening position of United Russia," the newspaper said.

"The party rating is down, which leads to the downgrading of the national leaders," it said. "The United Russia bureaucratic foundation is unchanged, and All-Russia People's Front bound to back up the United Russia authority increasingly separates itself from the party."

"Kremlin allies do not have to be members of All-Russia People's Front. It is just possible to make contact and be partners," a source close to the Presidential Administration explained the election bloc logic to the newspaper.

He assumed the authorities might choose to gain support of left-wing forces uncontrolled by the communists, such as Sergei Udaltsov's Left Front.

That would be "a moment of truth" for Udaltsov, the source said. "He may remain a people's orator and eventually become a marginal personality, like Limonov. Udaltsov is following Limonov's trail so far, but he may become an intermediary between certain population strata and the authorities," he said.

The structuring of the political liberal sector is possible with election blocs only, the newspaper said.

According to it, the Kremlin has not made a decision to take the right-liberal track. "The absence of this project is our big problem. The Right Cause is on standby, but its incapacity to work is already obvious," he said.

"Election blocs are supposed to compensate for the inability of the authorities to create something liberal and to offer that ideological product to the middle class," Nezavisimaya Gazeta said.

It noted that the Mikhail Prokhorov project gained much attention in that context.

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