Sergey Mironov, Gennady Zyuganov and Vladimir Zhirinovsky (left to right)
Photo: Anna Isakova / TASS
The Kremlin will not seek new candidates to participate in presidential elections for the sake of increasing turnout. Will rely on the old model with the nomination of leaders of parliamentary parties, said the source of RBC
The old model
The presidential administration does not intend to persuade the leaders of parties in the Duma Gennady Zyuganov (Communist party), Vladimir Zhirinovsky (LDPR) and Sergey Mironov (“Fair Russia”) to refuse to participate in the presidential elections and expose themselves more instead of young and fresh candidates to increase interest in the elections and, therefore, turnout. About it told RBC two sources close to the Kremlin, confirmed by the Federal official.
A “crusade” against the leaders of the parliamentary opposition there is unlikely to be,” said one of the interlocutors RBC.
In the parliamentary parties have no figures, more famous than their leaders, and therefore, any other candidate in case of his nomination draws on sections of a larger number of voters, says another source close to the Kremlin.
A Federal official told RBC that “it is pointless to require the parliamentary parties to nominate new candidates.” “On the contrary, may participate their leaders,” he says. In the Communist party, LDPR and “Fair Russia”, continues the official, there are no other people, “which can cause the interest of voters and to ensure that the result of the candidate was above the result of the game in the country”.
The rejection of the “new face”
Initially, the Kremlin admits the possibility of the election of new faces, told RBC a source close to the presidential administration. This was true at the end of last year, he says.
But sociological studies have shown that of the politicians, the people only know Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky and Mironov, says the Federal official RBC.
Zyuganov participated in the presidential elections four times, constantly occupying the second place. Zhirinovsky five times, but two. Following the results of campaign 2012 the leader of the socialist-revolutionaries got 3,86% of voices. Zhirinovsky and Zyuganov are 6.22 and 17,18%, respectively.
If you don’t count the heads of the Duma parties and several high-ranking figures, such as, for example, the Ministers of defence and of foreign Affairs Sergei Shoigu and Sergei Lavrov, the more famous citizens are persons not, says the Federal official. But the possibility of proposing another “candidate of power” is not considered because it would mean the dispersion of resources, said a source close to the Kremlin.
The selection of new candidates electorally significant as a way to increase turnout will not be because such candidates do not exist, concluded the Federal official: “the Discussions on this subject [the presidential administration] no”.
At the same time, if one of the heads of parties in the Duma decides not to run for election, the Kremlin will not try to dissuade him — it is a personal choice of political forces and their leaders, said the interlocutor of RBC.
Zhirinovsky has already declared that intends to participate in the presidential campaign. Zyuganov and Mironov about their intentions not declared. Sources in both parties said earlier RBC that any decision on this account yet and the party leaders will discuss these issues with the Kremlin.
A new face in the elections, but not parliamentary parties, whose participation will be initiated by the government, to appear may, says a source close to the Kremlin. But only under condition of change of public sentiment, he adds. “I’ll have to see how the single day of voting (regional elections in September 2017. — RBC), which will give an additional picture of the electoral preferences,” he explains, stressing that as at today the need in search of new faces there.
In the previous 2012 election as a “new face” was made by the businessman Mikhail Prokhorov. General Director VTsIOM Valery Fedorov said in an interview with RBC that Prokhorov has played a positive role: “He gave to a group of voters hope that their voice can be heard. His involvement certainly helped to increase turnout.”
In the parliamentary parties at the present time there are no people more popular than their leaders, told RBC the head of the Fund of civil society development (Fargo) Konstantin Kostin. Turnout can increase policy awareness and regular electorate, he said. According to him, participation in the presidential campaign of new candidates from the parliamentary political forces, who together with Yabloko “Express preferences for more than 80% of voters” can create risk for both parties. If Zyuganov will go to the polls, “new candidate from the Communist party could lose the election Zhirinovsky”, the expert believes.
Political analyst Nikolai Mironov told RBC that the Kremlin’s decision not to change the old parliamentary leaders in the elections quite logical, since in the parliamentary parties do not have “passionaries”: “Politicians in the Duma parties are not independent figures, and functionaries, and extras. Recognition they have a very low charisma, no voice, they will not attract. So why change the flea?” — says the expert.
As for 2012, when the campaign was attended by Prokhorov, then it was a different situation in the country, says Mironov. The presidential election was a strong protest mobilization, but now it is not, accordingly, there is no need for a new figure, accumulating protest votes.