Communist Party of the Russian Federation: its potential in Russian political system

 

Following the results of Russian presidential election Centre for Economic and Political Reforms (CEPR) studied factors influenced low results of the nominee of the second large political party – Communist Party of Russian Federation (CPRF). CEPR examined potential of the Party as the renewed center-left political party.

In the political specter of Russia the position of a large center-left party which is typical for the Western countries is vacant. CPRF has all the potential to fill this position due to a rising popularity of left ideas among Russian people.

Currently CPRF is strongly associated with an image of the “second party” after the ruling “United Russia”. This image though is mostly referring to CPRF’s ability to win a second place in terms of votes cast for it. Nevertheless recently CPRF experienced a number of significant downfalls in several elections. For example, the results of the CPRF nominee Pavel Grudinin in the 2018 Presidential election were 11,77% comparing to Vladimir Putin’s 76,69%. Even if we bear in mind that the results are disputable in terms of fairness of the elections, this situation may lead to dramatic loss in CPRF’s influence.

Though opposition in general and CPRF in particular could act more successfully and gain in influence over the public opinion and politics.

In 1990-s CPRF was a significant player in the political field but in the last 20 years it couldn’t retain its power. This lead the party to gradual transformation into the niche left party with relatively small electoral support.

The lesson for the CPRF is that its leadership should consider internal reasons why the party is currently in such position and develop a strategic plan for the future. Current position of the CPRF is worse than it could be considering the potential and all the resources of the party. The party should become a left-center political force protecting social rights of citizens and social justice and thus representing interests of more than a half of Russia’s population living in poverty.

The original version of the report in Russian is here.

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