Vladimir Lysenko: It is political parties that should influence the state, not vice versa

Pravda.ru has already familiarized its readers with the opinions of various State Duma deputies on the controversial bill “Of political parties” offered by the President and currently being discussed by Russia’s legislature. Here, we present the viewpoint of Vladimir Lysenko, the chairman of the Republican Party of Russia, one of the authors of the alternative bill “Of political parties and other political associations.” Mr. Lysenko was interviewed today by Inna Novikova. In his interview, he, in particular, said the following. “I think the bill “Of political parties” represents a kind of a test for democracy in Russia. We still do not have an adequate private ownership of land. It is not yet everybody’s conviction that we should have a genuine market. The same holds true in politics. We do not have a political market. We think the presidential bill leads to a complete liquidation of Russia’s nascent political market. It is ultimately aimed at creating several Kremlin-controlled political parties virtually turned into the state’s appendage. Bureaucrats will promote the parties they like and ban those they do not like. The point is that if there is no real political competition, there will be no competition in the economy. It is already 300 years that Russia has been having only one party in power, the party of bureaucracy. We still do not have civil society, nor have we local self-government. After a short period of political freedom in 1905-1917, political parties re-emerged in Russia about a decade ago, as communism had collapsed. Those parties are still very week and miserable. That is to say, they do have fresh ideas, but they lack a solid social base or a well-developed organizational structure. The bill suggested by the presidential administration is sure to kill them, while the alternative bill is meant to preserve them and let them develop. At present, the Federation Council is crushed, the State Duma losing one position after the other. Should we find ourselves devoid of opposition to the existing power, then we are set to be returning to an authoritarian society, falling out of the civilized world. So, it is important that the political parties influence the state, the latter being unable to push them around.