Zyuganov Sees `Road of Democracy' toward New Union

By Karash, Yuri | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 19, 1996 | Go to article overview

Zyuganov Sees `Road of Democracy' toward New Union


Karash, Yuri, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, who is running against Boris Yeltsin in the June 16 presidential election, was interviewed in Moscow by Washington Times special correspondent Yuri Karash.

Question: If you become president, will it mean a return to totalitarianism in politics and an administrative-command economic system such as existed in the Soviet Union?

Answer: I am sure that Russia has thrown off the shackles of totalitarianism and an administration-command system once and for all. There is a wide national patriotic coalition from which I have emerged as a candidate for the post of president of Russia in order that Russia can set off down the road of democracy - that is to say, power to the people, truth and political pluralism.

We are for a pluralist economy where state, collective and private property are equally protected. State must take care of the fundamental science, the military-industrial complex, railroads and aviation. I must point out that we are not for the liquidation of private property, but we want all people to be private property owners, and without that we cannot have a fair economy nor can we have democracy itself. If I am chosen as president, I guarantee that Russia will not fall by the wayside of peaceful civilization.

Q: When Communists first came to power in Russia and in Eastern Europe, they started purges against their opponents. How can we be sure the same thing won't happen if you become president?

A: Do not always believe what you hear. Yes, in the history of communism there have been dark periods. But have other ideologies not had dark periods, too? Did the Catholics not crush their opponents with the Inquisition? And did the Protestants not do the same with their opponents? Nobody cares to bring up these matters with modern-day Catholics or Protestants, so it should be with the Communists today.

With all our doings in the past few years in our battle for a new Russia, the Communists have proved that they reject dictatorship, force and arbitrary rule. The Communists have consistently stood by the principles of constitutional and parliamentary democracy. Did the Communists start the fraternicidal war in Chechnya? Did the Communists allow an alarming rise in the level of crime and corruption? No. The Communists decisively spurn all of these evils.

In the battle against these social malaises, success will not just be that of the Communists but to all people who are for a general long-term reformation of Russia itself. It is for this reason that the Communist Party strove to unify this national patriotic coalition into the widest-ranging spectrum of society - workers, business owners, farmers, scientists, teachers, doctors and the young and old alike. That coalition now exists. It is destined for power, and the victory of its candidate will permit Russia to come out of a state of crisis, facilitate peace, order, safety and growth.

Russia reached the limits of its revolutionary experiment. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation stands firmly in opposition to the mistakes of the past.

Q: You advocate the restoration of the Soviet Union. How will this come about? Do you totally reject violence during its restoration?

A: The disintegration of the Soviet Union brought a lot of grief and suffering to the whole of the people, caused tremendous damage to the economy of the former Soviet republics. Five years of this shame have proven that nobody will get themselves out of a crisis alone.

The restoration of the renovated union, of our great motherland, is an imperative of our time. This does not mean that somebody somewhere will force someone else to join or even eat away at their sovereignty. It does mean, however, that the reunification will be done exclusively by the people themselves.

We will take all the necessary measures to be sure that the brotherly links are voluntarily restored between Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. …

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