The conflict in the Communist Party of Russia (KPRF) on the eve of its July 3 congress has reached its climax. While the supporters of party leader Gennady Zyuganov were listening to his report at the plenary session of the KPRF central committee, his opponents held their own plenary session that terminated the powers of Zyuganov and his deputies. They elected Ivanovo (Central Russia) Governor Vladimir Tikhonov to the post of KPRF leader. Zyuganov's supporters denounced the alternative plenary session as illegitimate and promised to expel the dissenters from the party.
This may mean that there will be not one but two KPRF congresses, each of them claiming to be legitimate. The situation in the party is a textbook example of bad management of a political structure that used to have vast potential and any number of possibilities. Now the 322 delegates of the party congress can only vote for the introduction of crisis management.
"Zyuganov has lost the party. Even if he retains in its leadership after July 3, this will not change anything for him or the KPRF," said a member of the party central committee. Yesterday Zyuganov lost one more of his posts when the Coordinating Council of the People's Patriotic Union of Russia (NPSR) terminated his powers as chairman for "gross violations of the NPSR charter by erecting barriers to the convocation and normal work of the Coordinating Council and attempting to establish a regime of one-man rule in the coalition."