The opposition project "Headquarters of Candidates" unites with the "Civil Initiative" party to participate in the autumn elections

The opposition project "Headquarters of Candidates" unites with the "Civil Initiative" party to participate in the autumn elections

The oppositional project "Headquarters of Candidates" joins forces with the "Civil Initiative" party for joint participation in the autumn regional and municipal elections. The platform has already found candidates for local campaigns in New Moscow and the Moscow region, as well as for elections to the city dumas of Arkhangelsk, Belgorod and Veliky Novgorod. Experts doubt the success of the project, noting that the democratic agenda is not very relevant at the regional and local levels.

The intention to unite with the "Civil Initiative" (it is headed by the former Minister of Economy of the Russian Federation in 1992-1993 Andrey Nechaev) to prepare for the autumn elections, "Kommersant" was told by the founder of the "Headquarters of Candidates" project Dmitry Kisiev. “Realizing how difficult it is to participate in elections under the current conditions, we nevertheless decided not to ignore or boycott them, but to continue to form a civil society and develop democratic institutions,” the headquarters and the party said in a joint statement, the text of which was read by Kommersant ".

According to the authors of the initiative, coordination with other political forces will help "as many candidates as possible" get to the ballots.

The "Headquarters of Candidates" appeared in 2022 to support independent participants in the municipal elections in Moscow. It was organized by a team of ex-Yabloko members who were expelled in 2021 for their intention to change the party leadership. Dmitry Kisiev called the goal of the project "preservation of the institution of independent municipal deputies" without focusing on the ideological views of the nominees and their binding to the districts. In the 2022 elections, the Candidate Headquarters nominated more than 50 candidates, 31 of them managed to pass the registration stage, two were elected deputies.

“The opposition movement in the current conditions can only demonstrate local electoral success, so ideologically close organizations need to unite for great results,” Mr. Kisiev told Kommersant. According to him, in the future coalition, the "Candidate Headquarters" will take on technical issues: legal support, signature collection, training, team building, campaign development, "field" work. "Civil Initiative" is ready to nominate candidates and support them in the media. According to Dmitry Kisiev, the project has already selected candidates for municipal elections in 13 settlements of New Moscow and in the Moscow region. The platform also prepares candidates for the city councils of Arkhangelsk, Belgorod, Veliky Novgorod and other regions, who are still joining the project. The "Headquarters of Candidates" and "Civil Initiative" invite other political forces to cooperate, Mr. Kisiev noted.

Andrey Nechaev, in turn, specified that the efforts of the allies will be concentrated on local elections, in which it is easier to participate.

At the same time, there is an intention to nominate candidates to the legislative assemblies of a number of regions, he added: “I don’t want to reveal all the details yet, but we will try in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, in the Vladimir region, in Kalmykia.”

Recall that the first notable success of the non-systemic opposition, achieved by combining efforts to prepare and nominate candidates, was the municipal elections in Moscow in 2017, when United Russia lost the majority in 25 districts, and not a single deputy from the ruling party was elected in seven districts. Most of the victorious oppositionists were supported by the United Democrats project of Maksim Katz and Dmitry Gudkov (both are included in the register of foreign agents by the Ministry of Justice). Later, the project came under the control of the now liquidated Open Russia. By the start of the 2022 municipal campaign, “political Uber” had collapsed, and opposition candidates were supported by several separate platforms, but they failed to repeat the success of 2017. For example, the project of the former candidate for the State Duma from the Communist Party Mikhail Lobanov and the deputy of the Zyuzino district Alexander Zamyatin "Nomination" won nine mandates (with 129 candidates), and the team of National Democrat Roman Yuneman - one (with 42 candidates). The overwhelming majority of the seats were received by United Russia members and nominees of the My District association loyal to the authorities.

Mikhail Lobanov told Kommersant that this year he sees no point in preparing a team and participating in the campaign: “In this situation, we are following various elections, but we are not in a hurry to get involved in unpromising stories, but are working to strengthen our team in other areas.”

According to political scientist Mikhail Vinogradov, the coalition that has formed so far does not look very convincing: “Moreover, critics of the authorities from the conditionally democratic camp do not have high expectations regarding the electoral process.”

The result will depend on the persons and the presence of those interested in their promotion to the deputies, the expert believes, "but so far there is no synergy." Political scientist Konstantin Kalachev agrees that the chances of candidates nominated by the new association will be slim. In his opinion, the democratic agenda is more relevant at the federal level, and at the local and regional levels, the problems close to them are more important to voters.

Elena Rozhkova, Anastasia Kornya

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