Mironov candidacy in Russian presidential race suggests pluralism

Mironov candidacy in Russian presidential race suggests pluralism
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Serguey Mironov is running for the Russian presidency at the head of the party called ‘A Just Russia’. He is a former chairman of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament. Recently, Just Russia became the third force in politics, behind United Russia and the Communists.
The 58-year-old also ran for president in 2004. He is from Saint Petersburg, used to work as geological engineer, and before that served in a Soviet Army airborne division.
His candidacy is seen somewhat as a puppet show, aimed at lending a semblance of pluralism to the presidential race. Mironov has always supported Vladimir Putin. His detractors say he is not really an opponent. In the presidential election in 2004, he only won 0.75 percent of the votes.
‘A Just Russia’ is a social democratic political party – centre-left. Formed through a merger of the Party of Life and the Pensioners’ Party in 2006, A Just Russia has 64 of the 450 seats in the State Duma.
In 2007 legislative elections, it won 7.8 percent of the votes. That year the party called on the electorate to support Dmitri Medvedev in the 2008 presidentials. Just Russia even joined United Russia in a coalition in 2010.
Mironov alternates between denouncing Putin and Medvedev’s party’s supremacy and backing it.
It had an effect: last December, Just Russia nearly doubled its share of the votes for representation in the Duma, to more than 13 percent, and so became the country’s number three party. If nothing else, Mironov’s bid for the presidency perhaps goes some way to preparing for authentic pluralism in Russia.

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