Russia does not have enough voters for a strictly liberal party but it has enough supporters for a right-wing party, which is needed to express the interests of this part of our society. It would be best for a right-wing party to rely on voters that support individualism and self-sufficiency in the economy and minimal government interference in economic processes.
On December 12, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin announced that he is prepared to help form a new right-wing party.
discussed the prospects of this project and Kudrin’s role as a potential party leader with Georgy Bovt, Editor-in-chief and Head of the information and publishing department of the
Russkiy Mir magazine, and a Member of the Federal Political Council of the Right Cause party.
Is there a need for a new right-wing party in the current configuration of the Russian political system?
I think a right-wing party is a must, but I’d like to emphasize that recently many have often made the mistake of equating a right-wing party with a liberal one. Russia does not have enough voters for a strictly liberal party but it has enough supporters for a right-wing party, which is needed to express the interests of this part of our society.
Who would vote for this potential right-wing party?
Angry urban dwellers, as Vladislav Surkov aptly put it. These are also those small and medium-sized proprietors that are dissatisfied with lawlessness and the inequality of different segments of society before the law. These people want to protect their private property, and not only their business but their personal property against arbitrary rule. They want the government to change its rhetoric and stop being so impudent and brazen in its election fraud.
Could such a party be led by Mikhail Prokhorov or Alexei Kudrin? Is Kudrin an adequate public politician to head such a party?
Regrettably, Mikhail Prokhorov’s conduct during the formation of the Right Cause party does not give him the grounds to claim a serious role in Russian politics. He behaved as a very weak politician. Kudrin is a much more interesting figure, but whether he would be able to act in public politics without administrative and government support is a big issue. Current Russian legislation does not allow anyone to create a party from scratch without at least the benevolent neutrality of the authorities.
What do you think about the political platform of this planned party?
The platform is obvious. According to official data, left-wing parties have increased their presence in the current State Duma. These parties are largely pursuing populist goals. They advocate higher taxes and want the state to play a bigger role in the economy. In this regard, it would be best for a right-wing party to rely on voters that support individualism and self-sufficiency in the economy and minimal government interference in economic processes.
Do you think right-wing forces – both systemic, like the registered parties Right Cause and Yabloko, and non-systemic – could come together?
Yabloko is not a right-wing party. Judging by its declared goals, it can be sooner called a left-socialist party. Its principles are close to those of A Just Russia although its tactics differ. As for the rest, right-wing forces have always found it difficult to come to terms and have not been good at forming coalitions so far. However, I do not rule out that people who were apolitical before but who are disenchanted with the status quo in Russia will be able to overcome their disdain and get into politics. In this case the right-wing party will come to play a big role in politics.
Will Kudrin be able to unite people who were not interested in politics before?
Kudrin is not someone that inspires rejection. Potentially he may become such a figure but right now it is premature to say this. He is only making cautious statements and has not yet made a single move. Words mean less than deeds and won’t build a political career. Only actions can make one.