The Communist and Just Russia parties are creating organizations to counter Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's All-Russia People's Front ahead of State Duma elections.
The Communist Party's People's Militia will unite interest groups around the party ahead of the December vote, party leader Gennady Zyuganov said. Putin's organization, established last month, aims to do the same for the ruling United Russia.
The People's Militia will protect "labor, peace, justice and brotherhood of all peoples in the state," Zyuganov
The idea for the militia was introduced by two party branches in Altai and Nizhny Novgorod, Zyuganov said. In the Altai city of Rubtsovsk, a brigade of 50 members has been established, and more brigades will follow nationwide, the party
A Just Russia followed suit Saturday, declaring plans to form A Just Russia's Union of Supporters. Senior party official Gennady Gudkov also said Friday that his old groups, the People's Front Against Corruption and unregistered Go, Russia, would oppose Putin's All-Russia People's Front, Interfax reported.
Senior United Russia official Andrei Isayev said Monday that the rush of competitors implied that "Putin is right."
"Copycat products are always worse than the originals," Isayev
Meanwhile, the All-Russia People's Front made an attempt to attract more supporters Monday, calling on individual supporters to join a group previously only open to organizations.
The front will now accept everyone who "shares [its] aims and landmarks," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov
The online application
The first prominent individual to join the group was world-renowned chess master Anatoly Karpov, Gazeta.ru
Curiously, the opposition New Times magazine published a
United Russia will allot up to 150 of the 600 places on its party ticket for the Duma vote to nominees from the All-Russia People's Front, Boris Gryzlov, who heads the ruling party's Duma faction, said Saturday, RIA-Novosti reported.
Peskov said Monday that more than 400 public groups and organizations have joined the front since its inception.