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«    September 2006    »
электронный журнал "Новые исследования Тувы"

United Russia Party Uses Administrative Pressure to Remove its Main Rival in the Parliamentary Election Campaign in Tuva

Orlan Sotpa, chief executive of the Tuvan regional department of the Russian Life Party, has applied today to Tuvan Prosecutor's Office. In his statement he claims that huge alexistrative pressure was exercised from the part of state and municipal officials over Life party members in order to make the latter quit the Life party. The Life Party is considered to be the main rival of the United Russia Party (Yedinaya Rossia)--the 'party of power' in the coming parliamentary elections in Tuva and so the pressure was to force the Life party into not participating in the elections. Orlan Sotpa names in his statement among Tuvan officials acting in favour of 'United Russia' deputy ministers of the Tuvan government-- Tatyana Ondar and Vladimir Saryglar, Kyzyl mayor Dmitri Dongak and his deputy Vyacheslav Yandai-ool (all four are current members of the 'United Russia'). They pressed their subordinates, 11 members of the Life party, to drop their membership otherwise they would face dismissal.

Mr Sotpa points that it is a direct abuse of office on the part of the mentioned officials.

Earlier this month Zoya Sat, head of the Life party in Tuva, spoke at a press-conference in Kyzyl of the 'unprecedented alexistrative pressure' on the Life party members from the republican and city executives. "They even try to find out what schools Life party members' children go to, or which kindergartens they visit!", she said emotionally. "It is abnormal to fight with such unjust measures!" But she also added that this pressure can provoke a counterreaction from the electorate.

Elections into bicameral Tuvan Great Khural are to take place on the 8th of October. Thirty-two deputies working on a professional basis will be elected into the Legislative Chamber. One hundred and thirty deputies that will combine their parliamentary duties with their main jobs will be elected into a Chamber of Representatives.

All the political parties, intending to take part in the elections, have had conferences in which they approved party lists of candidates. These party lists were later registered by the Election Commission of Tuva, which now have confirmed five parties to have the right to take part in the elections;Zhizn (Life) Party, Communist Party, Yedinaya Rossia (United Russia), Liberal Democrats, and Rodina (Motherland). Now attempts are being made to make Life party members sign that they were not present at the conference so its decisions are invalid.

The United Russia Party list is headed by Sherig-ool Oorzhak, Tuvan Prime Minister. Number two in it is his Vice-Prime Minister Sholban Kara-ool. The Prime Minister promised that the 'party of power' will gather in Tuva eighty percent of electoral votes and thus will have parliament majority, which then will be authorised to recommend to the Russian President to be its candidate and appoint him head of the republic.

The Life party list starts with Vasili Oyun, Head of the Parliament, and main critic of Sherig-ool Orrzhak's policy. Number two is his Vice-speaker Vitali Valkov and number three is Zoya Sat, ex-mayor of Kyzyl, now deputy.

In March this year 13 deputies of the Legislative Chamber, United Russia members, voted for an Address to Vladimir Putin in which they urged Sherig-ool Oorzhak's dismissal. They wrote that his fourteen years in office had taken Tuva far back economically. They underlined that people are appointed to high positions in Tuva not due to their professional skills but either their personal loyalty to the Prime Minister or close kinship.

All the addressees were expelled from the United Russia party. Later their membership was restored by the General Council of United Russia but many of the deputies quit it in the long-run. They entered the Life party which appears as another strong political force opposed to United Russia.

Its federal leader Sergei Mironov, head of the Federation Council, declared that the Life party will ruin political monopoly of United Russia which would sanify Russian society.

But as the reality shows, it is not that simple. Parliamentary elections will take place on the 8th of October in nine Russian regions, but in many of them alexistrative pressure acting in favor of United Russia is huge.

Marina Chanzan, Dina Oyun
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