Opposition leader and presidential hopeful Alexei Navalny has released his full campaign program, one year after announcing his bid for the Russian presidency.
Although Navalny has built a national network of supporters — with 83 regional offices across the country and almost 200,000 volunteers — a fraud charge that his supporters say is politically motivated bars him from running in the March 2018 elections.
Navalny released his program on Wednesday, one day before President Vladimir Putin’s annual press conference.
“My campaign program is based on a simple fact: Russia is a very rich country,” he said in his 6-minute YouTube video announcement, “[but] the main reason for our [current] poverty is corruption and terrible governmental rule for the last decades.”
To improve salaries and quality of life “right away,” Navalny promises to redirect the resources lost to corruption and wasteful government spending to an investment in “human capital.”
Navalny says he will:
— Investigate facts of political repression, punish judges guilty of politically-motivated trials, and repeal harmful laws from the past 17 years
— Reduce tensions with the EU, USA and Ukraine and find a legitimate solution to “the Crimean problem” in the interests of the local population
— Increase the minimum wage to 25,000 rubles ($426)
— Switch to a parliamentary systems and return 4-year presidential terms (limited to two)
— Stop supporting dictators and failed regimes
— Give more autonomy to Russia’s regions, redistribute revenues from Moscow
He promises to fund his initiatives by:
— Reducing spending on law enforcement, government salaries, state companies, and state media
— Increasing taxes on oil and gas companies, reduce taxes for small businesses
— Keeping spending on military stable, but redirecting it towards salaries and getting rid of mass conscription