July 1 has been announced as the date of voting on amendments to the Russian Constitution. Someofthemareimportantandpromising. However, on the whole they are not conducive to renunciation of presidential rule by fiat and the power of the oligarchy. The amendments introduced do not make Russia a social state. They do not protect society from the destructive impact of Russophobia and anti-Sovietism.
The position of the CPRF on the “all-Russia vote” is based on concrete conclusions and firm principles.
1. We did not vote for the Yeltsin constitution rammed through in 1993. This document is saturated with the blood of the defenders of the House of the Soviets, the smoke of the war in Chechnya and the tears of the humiliated and the robbed. It legitimized the thievish privatization, opened the floodgates for decimation of the economy and healthcare, science, culture and education. Ever since that time our party has been staunchly fighting for a revision of the constitution on the basis of the key principle: power and property to the people.
2. When the constitutional reform was launched we immediately joined that work. TheCPRFsubmitted 108 amendmentstotheMainLaw. We called for a broad discussion of these amendments. The authorities have in fact ignored 15 key provisions aimed at a drastic change of the socio-economic course. The United Russia parliamentary majority rejected all our laws that would have improved the position of the working people.
3. The amendments put to the vote on July 1 do not change the essence of the Main Law under which Russia has been made to live over the last quarter of a century. The “governing party” effectively refuses to change the course of the ship “Russia” in a peaceful and democratic way. The new edition of the constitution strengthens presidential diktat and consolidates oligarchic rule which leads the country towards a catastrophe. Unless the course is changed in the interests of the people today the country will see deepening cleavages, a severe crisis and chaos. We see that global speculative capitalism is in disarray. It is time to stop taking the cue from senile capitalism and head towards a society of justice and all-round progress, towards a socialist society.
4. Amendments to the Main Law cannot be adopted in haste. We have already called for convening a Constitutional Assembly and submitted a draft law on how to form it. Instead United Russia rushed amendments through the State Duma. They have been promptly endorsed by the Federation Council. The President has announced that they have been approved. Under these conditions the July 1 vote has largely a ritual character. It does not have the status of a referendum and is at odds with the electoral law. All this is added proof of the falsehood of bourgeois democracy.
5. TheCentralElectoralCommitteeorganizesthe “all-Russiavote” underadubiousprocedure. The vote will not be taken on each concrete amendment. One can only vote “for” or “against” all amendments at once. Thedooriswideopenforvote-rigging. Votingwilllastseveraldays. The authorities are urging people to vote electronically or by mail, which puts the process outside public control. It is a testing ground for new methods of falsifying future elections.
6. What is taking place undermines the legitimacy of the results in advance. The authorities evade a full-fledged dialogue and step-by-step put into question the legal framework on which the Russian state should be based. This gives a free hand to political adventurers who are prepared to undermine civil peace and put their stake on chaos according to the Maidan scenario of the Banderovites. Russia must not repeat the tragedy of the Ukrainian people.
7. Real politics call for active participation of the masses. A boycott of the “all-Russia” vote will be of no avail. To be a citizen means to struggle for the country’s destiny. The authorities must know the position of the citizens and reckon with their will. We are sure that everyone should express their opinion as their conscience and concern for the future of their children and grandchildren bid them. Everyone must decide whether to vote for a new edition of the Yeltsin constitution. Ouranswerisno. Wecannotsupportthisdocument. This was the case in 1993, and this will be the case now.
8. The CPRF comes out for a thorough overhaul of the Main Law. Cosmeticchangeswillnotdo. The key needs of the country and the people cannot be ignored. Therefore we will continue to advocate the calling of a Constitutional Assembly. Anhonestandlegitimatevote. Afull-fledgedreferendum. Aconstitutionofpeople’sruleandjustice.
Our alternative is a programme to mobilize Russia to ensure dynamic forward movement. It envisages the creation of a Popular Trust Government, nationalization of key sectors of the economy, strategic and tactical planning, making of a development budget, revival of science and culture, education and healthcare, scrapping of plans to raise the retirement age, support of people’s enterprises and a range of other measures.
The coronavirus pandemic and the surge of panic have aggravated crisis phenomena in the world economy. This breeds discontent of millions of people. It has erupted even in the USA which has been swept by street rioting. Global capitalism is unable to deal with the problems it has itself engendered. The systemic crisis poses a mortal threat to the world. Socialist principles alone can ward it off. The CPRF wants to see them included in the Main Law and implemented confidently and steadfastly.
Gennady Zyuganov, Chairman of the CC CPRF