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Anatomy of a rumor: a party instead of defenders

Анатомия слухов: партии вместо правозащитников

The fate of civil society is left to the discretion of the siloviki, and the Kremlin began a new stage of preparation for parliamentary elections in 2021.

Approximately seven dozen NGOs that received the label “foreign agent”, the majority, according to recent forecasts, will be otherwise closed until the end of 2020. The campaign, which began after the decay of the Moscow protests will not be limited to those who have managed to stand out during the summer meetings.

The President’s administration has regained the leading position, popriderzhat security forces. The political sector of the Kremlin, after he managed more or less to restore its “leading and guiding” role, again coordinates the work of different “towers” and gave the security forces carte Blanche to slaughter with a wide range of “civil society activists”.

Farewell to NGOs

Rumor has it that it took several joint informal meetings with the security forces, in which representatives of the “civil” administration explained its position. Occurring new the politicization of Russian society is a kind of sociological inevitability, so stop its not going — just send to the appropriate channel, convenient for the authorities. But such channeling political discontent requires to eliminate all competitors, who can guide the Russians to the opposite, that is wrong for the Kremlin side.

Political opposition as such in the country now is not in the near future, according to employees of the political sector of the presidential administration, is not expected. Merged them in the press discussing the possibility of creating a new liberal party, but rather a voodoo ritual to resurrect one of these old structures have retained such legal status, testifies to this.

Of the two options called: “Party of Growth” of the Commissioner for human rights under President Boris Titov and the “Civic platform”, which the Kremlin two terms ago, “pressed” billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Both cadaver to animate for real participation in the elections can only be fully replacing the party activists, but judging by the sludge in the press and telegram channels, to do this in the presidential administration, no one is going.

At least, the information that participants in the sector Sergey Kirienko has made available to the press, suggests that one of the parties will add a few loyal politicians, who will for the voter to represent the conditional “liberals”, as it did in 2018, for example, Ksenia Sobchak, was a presidential candidate.

Such a caricature the opposition drawn part of the protest votes will represent competition, but will not be able to pass in 2021 in the state Duma. Weakened the “United Russia” it is necessary that NGOs were silent with their ideological and practical criticism of the situation in the country, and the right and left of the party formed a political spoilers, that’s so unappealing to act on a voter that he would vote for United Russia as the lesser evil.

New party work

This old scheme, however, requires some innovation. As usual they are of a technical nature and connected with the reform of the electoral law under a single party and its current ratings. The second half of September and October there were rumors that the Kremlin one after the other meetings where a variety of experts, including employees of Eugene Prigogine, known as “Putin’s cook”, offer its scheme of restructuring of the electoral system.

In the end, if we are to believe the November is already the wave of rumors on this topic, the Kremlin decided almost not to change anything. No transition to the majority principle would not, elections will be held again on a mixed system: half of the seats will get in the state Duma those who are elect according to party lists, half — odnomandatniki.

At the same time, the Kremlin is likely to be removed “tens”, which now stand at the head of party lists. The leader of each party will be the only one that the opposition was unable to form sufficiently attractive to the voter commands. The Communist party, for example, probably will lead all the same Gennady Zyuganov.

On the other hand, to mask the ruling party and to create the appearance of competition will probably be, again allowing you to create blocks of political parties. Now formally blocked is impossible, but with 2021, according to the participants of a recent Kremlin meeting, the ban will be removed. However, the blocks will set the threshold higher to avoid getting to the state Duma of the conglomerates of the systemic and non-systemic opposition, the appearance which the Kremlin still slightly afraid.

This seems to be in the presidential administration believe sufficient changes. However, the process of harmonization is far from complete and clarity is likely to come in 2020, code the appropriate bills one by one begin to submit to the state Duma for approval to do so before the start of the campaign, both formal and real, time-bound legislation.

In the long run “United Russia” traditionally easier to win, because it allows the Kremlin to work out all the possible options and to close potential holes that can penetrate the opposition. In particular, for this purpose you can wait and change the rules of elections by the majoritarian system. Most likely, it will be about tightening of the registration process that is guaranteed to block access to the election for the opposition candidates, which, as it turned out in the summer of 2019 in Moscow, may collect verifiable signatures in support of his nomination.

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