Gennady Zyuganov, Candidate for President of the Russian Federation
My pledge to the citizens of Russia
My fellow countrymen, I am addressing you at a difficult time for our Motherland. Russia has suffered huge losses during the past 20 years. The country is dying out. There is no corner in the country where villages have not perished. There is no city where enterprises have not been allowed to close down. The living standard of most citizens is falling. The scientific and technical lag has assumed an alarming character. Unique opportunities have been missed. The choice facing us is to initiate a speedy recovery or to find ourselves at the very bottom. Time dictates immediate change.
For the sake of saving the country
Capitalism throughout the world is relentlessly reproducing abject poverty, conflicts and wars, cultural degradation and environmental problems. Its bankrupt system has again plunged the world into an acute crisis which has affected this country as well.
Being aware of the gravity of the existing problems I, Gennady Zyuganov, am ready to assume the responsibility for the destiny of Russia. If elected president, I guarantee the formation of a government of popular trust consisting of professionals and patriots. It will be created on a coalition basis and will include representatives of various parties and non-party members. The new head of government will engage not in political propaganda, but in organizing the country’s economic life.
The work of the executive branch will be geared to overcoming the five main threats hanging over Russia:
- the colossal social inequality;
- the demographic catastrophe;
- the disarray of the economy which is addicted to the narcotic of commodities;
- the loss of defense capability;
- spiritual and moral degradation.
Being at the head of state our team will ensure:
- the security of the country and personal security for its citizens;
- a transition from economic decline to accelerated development;
- overcoming of poverty and social degradation;
- a strengthening of the friendship of the peoples within Russia;
- the rule of law, law and order and human rights.
We will carry out all the transformations for the sake of the people and together with the people.
Renewal of the political system
I pledge to devote my activities as the head of state to asserting the rule by the people. Real equality of the peoples of Russia in the field of governance and in the disposal of the property of the whole people will be ensured.
Nobody will dare to defy the will of the citizens. I will immediately instruct the law enforcement bodies to investigate all the facts of falsification of the results of voting in elections.
An extraordinary parliamentary election will be held on December 1, 2012. Simultaneously with the deputies of the State Duma each of you will be able to take part in electing a new Federation Council.
I guarantee the creation of an open and honest electoral system. All the electoral commissions in the country will be formed to represent the parties that are active in Russia. You will see full-fledged television debates that involve the heads of political parties and presidential candidates, punishment for vote-rigging will be toughened.
The powers and supervisory functions of the parliament will be expanded. The presidential term will be cut to five years. A Russian citizen will be allowed to run for president no more than two times. The office of the country’s vice president elected as a running mate of the head of state will be introduced.
Before the end of 2012 I will introduce at the State Duma a draft law on direct elections of governors. The only “filter” for the election will be the opinion of the residents of the region while there is an open contest between political parties and candidates’ programmes.
Anti-corruption legislation will be introduced in Russia within a year.
A new law on the referendum will be adopted in 2013. The people will have greater real opportunities to exercise power directly.
A single system of local Soviets will be introduced in the country since 2014. Financing of the needs of local self-government will be increased.
Beginning from 2015 the People’s Judges at city and district levels will be popularly elected. You will have an opportunity to influence government through non-governmental organizations and people’s control.
Under my leadership the government of popular trust will pursue a new course. In accordance with the 3+7+5 formula it will include:
- THREE areas of a new foreign policy;
- SEVEN areas of a new economic policy;
- FIVE social priorities.
After the collapse of the USSR the world’s reactionary forces have been acting ever more brazenly. The world is being re-divided again as natural resources and markets are being seized and pro-Western regimes are being installed. The USA is waging several wars of conquest. Washington’s project of the Greater Middle East is only part of the plans of world domination. Our country needs a shield against any aggression. Without it we will not ensure favourable conditions for the development of Russia and a decent life for its people.
Official Moscow has failed to come up with measures to counter NATO. Russia’s virtual consent to the invasion of Libya is a disgrace. The ratified START-III Treaty is but a disguise for the arms race unleashed by the USA. Our country’s defense potential is being rapidly destroyed. The loss of Russian territories continues. Fraternal Byelorussia is being pushed away.
I consider it to be exceptionally important to restore the national security and to guarantee the sovereignty of Russia. To this end we will solve three tasks:
1. Our new foreign policy priorities will be aimed at establishing fair relations in the world arena, at increasing the number of allies and permanent partners of Russia. We will devote our efforts to increasing the role of the UN, asserting a multi-polar world, and limiting the influence of NATO. Our countrymen abroad will be reliably protected.
2. The creation of a new Union of Fraternal Peoples.
I will do everything possible to accelerate the rapprochement of the former Soviet Union countries. A common economic space comprising Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will be formed. We will ensure the creation of a strong Union State of Byelorussia and Russia.
3. Strengthening of the country’s defense capability.
The government of popular trust will put an end to the pogrom of the Army and Navy under Serdyukov. We will revive the Armed Forces and the Russian defense industry. The families of officers will be provided with housing, schools, preschool childcare and houses of culture.
I firmly promise you an independent and peace-loving foreign policy and the protection of our Motherland against external threats.
During the years of “reforms” more than two-thirds of Russia’s industrial potential have been destroyed. Out of 9850 mining industries only 416 are state-owned. As a result, the profits of the oligarchs are 400 times greater than the whole country gets from the exploitation of natural resources. That is why the number of poor people is not decreasing, production is declining and the infrastructure is crumbling before our eyes.
It is time to act decisively to rectify the situation. In order to create a growth economy instead of the “oil-well economy” we will solve seven tasks.
New Land, Forestry and Water Management Codes and the Law on Subsoil Resources will be adopted to consolidate national ownership of natural resources. Nationalization will be carried out in the oil and gas complex, the banking sphere, the power industry, aviation and railway transport. It will yield massive financial resources for the state. The Russian budget revenue will double. There will be resources for restoring the economy and for addressing social problems.
I stress that there is no point in transferring everything into state ownership and of course that does not apply to the apartments, plots of land in the country and other private property. Nationalization will affect a narrow circle of people. We will offer decent compensation to those who gained possession of people’s property in the 1990s, but have since invested in the development of production. We are prepared to provide these people with jobs as specialists and invite them to invest in interesting projects. Our team is ready for dialogue and reasonable compromise, but we will not pander to the whims of the oligarchs.
I guarantee to you that 99% of the population, including small and medium-sized enterprises, will benefit from nationalization. You will see the government stop the growth of the tariffs for gas and electricity, the housing and utilities services and transport, and stop the growth of the price of coal, fuel and lubricants. That would force down the prices of food and other goods.
2. A new industrialization
We will proceed according to the principle: “modernization without stops”. In the period between 2013 and 2016 government investment in the development of industry will increase by at least 20 trillion roubles. We will conduct industrialization on the basis of advanced achievements of scientific and technical progress. The Unified Energy System will be recreated.
3. Revival of the Russian countryside.
We will restore the country’s food security. Between 10 and 15% of federal budget spending will go to finance the development of agriculture. The government will ensure the creation of large collective farms and provide peasants with modern technology. The price disparities will be eliminated. Cultural institutions, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and polyclinics will be recreated in the rural areas. We guarantee full gasification of the countryside.
4. A change of financial policy.
At present the government is bleeding the economy white while stashing away petrodollars abroad for itself and for its bankers. Our monetary and financial policy and control of prices and tariffs will guarantee the support of the domestic goods providers and of municipal entities.
The foundation of the Russian banking system will be state-owned banks, including Vneshtorgbank, Sberbank, Stroibank and Selkhozbank (the Agricultural Bank). They will ensure rational use of the country’s financial resources and effective money circulation. Commercial banks will remain and their services will help stimulate economic and social development. Speculation, which chokes the economy by exorbitant credit interest rates, will be curtailed.
5. Revision of the tax system.
Taxes on the enterprises in the real sector of the economy will be cut. Those production facilities that produce competitive goods and invest in research and development will enjoy substantial benefits.
We will introduce a progressive income tax scale thus adding two trillion roubles to the budget every year. But you will not pay this tax if your income turns out to be less than 12,000 roubles a month per family member.
6. Accelerated development of science.
Today the share of high technology products in Russia’s export has dropped to 0.5% compared with more than 30% in Germany and Japan and 40% in the USA. To rectify that deplorable situation we will double the financing of Russian science by 2014. The revival of our country will be driven by the science cities and other scientific centres created by the Soviet government. We guarantee decent pay to scientists, housing and other support measures for promising young scientists. The grants for post-graduate students and those working for their doctorates will be increased by four times.
Russian science will be actively involved in shaping state policy. The president and the government will take key decisions only with the approval of the Supreme Intellectual Council.
7. Implementation of the Conquest of Distances programme.
Investments in the Russian aviation industry will double as early as 2013. We will enlarge the air companies, create modern regional aviation and will take measures to ensure air safety. We will pay particular attention to building new high-speed roads. Programmes of the development of marine and river transport will be launched. Regulation of carriage tariffs will provide freedom of movement for you.
In the first three years of the Government of Popular Trust major investments will be required in industry and agriculture. But once they start working again economic growth will ensure a steady flow of budget revenue. That will make it possible to carry out large-scale social programmes.
Social and national cultural policy
Upon assuming the office of the President of Russia I will guarantee a uniform social policy and wide access to cultural values throughout the country’s territory. All-round development of the individual will become the government’s key task. We will ensure a high level of social security of the population irrespective of the level of revenues of the regional and local budget. Russia will no longer have “backwater areas.” A coherent social policy and friendship of the peoples will strengthen the integrity of the state. Any manifestations of Russophobia and attempts to foment ethnic strife will be resolutely stopped.
1.A society of justice will replace the “social jungle”.
We will adopt a new Labour Code and protect the rights of hired workers. Working people will be guaranteed decent wages and labour conditions, the right to rest and rehabilitation, to upgrading their educational and cultural level.
Within a year we will revise all the anti-people laws the United Russia has imposed upon the country. First of all, we will abolish federal law FZ No.83 on the commercialization of the social sphere. The new legislation will expand the network of social institutions, improve the protection of motherhood and childhood, introduce additional measures for the support of the elderly and the disabled. The special status of “children of war” will be introduced.
By the end of 2013 the average pensions in Russia will double and the minimum pensions will treble.
Each of you will be provided with decent housing. Low-income families will get it for free. All the rest will be able to acquire housing on credit at the rate of no more than 5% a year. A large-scale programme of relocating residents from decrepit housing and housing in a state of disrepair will be launched. The state will actively support the building of individual houses by allocating free land for development.
The new Housing Code will bring infrastructure and utilities back into state ownership. Managing companies will be owned by the state or the municipalities. The authorities will be responsible to you for the repair of service lines, roofs, basements and entrances of apartment blocks.
Cheap heating and electricity will be brought to every home. Your pay for housing and utilities will not exceed 10% of the family income.
2. Children and young people will enjoy state support.
For the young people we guarantee adequate free education, work according to their training and free housing for their families.
Within two years we will put an end to the shortage of places in preschool childcare. An extensive system of benefits will be introduced for families with many children. Programmes of organizing health and recreation for children will be significantly expanded.
The state will provide active support for gifted children, young inventors, scientists and the authors of advanced projects. New sporting facilities, creative clubs and studios and tourist centres will be opened. Youth and children’s associations will get every support.
3. Quality education will be accessible to all.
We will bring back to the people the greatest achievement of Soviet power, that is, universal free education. Government spending on education will increase from 4% to 8-10% of the GDP. The university professors and schoolteachers will get decent salaries and their prestige will be enhanced.
Schoolchildren will be provided with hot meals. Student grants will increase and will be available to a greater number of students. Spending on these items will double beginning from September 1, 2012 and subsequently the size of grants will be increased every year.
4. The nation’s health will improve.
You will be able to get free high-quality medical service. Private clinics will become only adjuncts to a full-fledged state healthcare system. Comprehensive prevention of diseases, availability of places at sanatoria and health resorts and large-scale promotion of a healthy lifestyle will be ensured.
The average pay in the health service will exceed the average national wage not later than 2014.
The lump sum allowance for a newborn baby will amount to 50,000 roubles beginning from January 1, 2013. The monthly allowance for a child will match the living minimum. By 2015 we will restore the mother and child services, obstetrics centres and midwifery systems.
5. Government will ensure a cultural upsurge and spiritual unity of the country.
The state will protect the spiritual values and national traditions of all the peoples of Russia. The law On Culture will be adopted before the end of 2012. Spending on culture will double within three years. Measures to preserve cultural monuments will be strengthened. We will provide reliable protection of our history against the encroachments of those who denigrate the achievements of the past generations. The intellectual and spiritual level of domestic television will be enhanced. You will be spared intrusive television advertising. Large-scale programmes to protect the languages and cultures of the Russian and all the other peoples of Russia will be launched. Creative unions will be allowed great scope for their activities.
I will do the job within six years.
I am convinced that six years is a serious presidential term. During this period things can be changed for the better and the foundation for an accelerated development of Russia can be laid. My commitments to yourepresent the gist of the ideas that are elaborated in detail in the CPRF electoral programme and are intended for the long term.
My team is confident of its strength. Upon coming to power we will cleanse the electoral system of information terror, dirty technologies and the omnipotence of money.
Citizens will be able to express their will without experiencing pressure from the bureaucrats. We are committed to fair political struggle and are ready to take part in open and equal debate.
After my election as President the state apparatus will become much leaner, but more effective. The authorities will launch an uncompromising struggle against corruption. Various forms of people’s self-government and supervision of the work of government officials will be developed. I will actively support civil initiatives and the activities of non-governmental associations. You will be given the right to recall deputies and officials of any level for not keeping their electoral promises. Succession of power will be ensured. Human rights will be protected.
I am convinced that the popular majority must win and establish its own just government.
Together we can and must live in a country that is proud of its achievements and looks to the future with confidence.