Draws National Attention
by Rachel Douglas
The unexpectedly strong showing of economist Sergei Glazyev in the first round of the Krasnoyarsk gubernatorial elections, held Sept. 8, has become a hot topic of discussion in Russia. Running as the Communist Party electoral bloc's candidate for the post left vacant by the death of Gov. Aleksandr Lebed last April, Glazyev came in third, with over 21% of the vote. According to some reports, the failure of officials to count several thousand of Glazyev's votes may have cost him a spot in the run-off election. Glazyev, however, opted not to contest the election results.
As head of the State Duma's Committee on Economic Policy, Sergei Glazyev last year invited Lyndon LaRouche to keynote special hearings on how to save the national economy, under conditions of global financial crash (see EIR, July 6 and 20, 2001).
Nezavisimaya Gazeta of Sept. 18 carried an article on Glazyev, subtitled, "The Krasnoyarsk Election Has Given the Left a New Leader." Journalist Anatoli Kostyukov wrote: "Sergei Glazyev has proved to be the greatest discovery of the gubernatorial election in Krasnoyarsk. Everyone expected him to perform poorly, but he came in third in the election—without the benefit of any substantial administrative, political, or financial support. . . . Neither Alexander Uss nor Alexander Khloponin [the two candidates in the run-off—ed.] even tried to conceal that Glazyev had given them a serious fright; and when they recovered from the shock they started to pay him a lot of compliments."
Whereas Uss and Khloponin are tied to "specific industry sectors and specific sources of funding. Glazyev had only one asset: the support of the Communist Party (CPRF). However, the Communists are not highly rated in Krasnoyarsk Territory, and do not win many seats even in the [regional] assembly. Therefore, Glazyev himself was a political resource for his own election. This election was Glazyev's first experience of this kind; earlier he had been included on slates by the Communists or other political forces that needed brains."
The article recounted Glazyev's principled opposition to the looting of Russia under the guise of reforms, in the early 1990s. He was a government minister, and "could have become a tycoon," but he resigned from the Cabinet and would not pursue personal enrichment.
The NG article concluded that if the CPRF can understand how important it is to show a real ability to govern, "then Krasnoyarsk has given them a new trump card. Now they have a new person, who is able not only to write alternative budgets, but also construct a new left alternative and become the leader of the left wing. The young and well-educated Glazyev has proved to be a successful public fighter, too."
Although CPRF leader Zyuganov endorsed Alexander Khloponin (Governor of the Taymur region, within Krasnoyarsk Territory; former head of Norilsk Nickel) in the run-off election, Glazyev declined to back either Khloponin or Alexander Uss (Speaker of the Krasnoyarsk legislature, endorsed by Oleg Deripaska of Russian Aluminum). On Sept. 20, he also urged his voters not to cast votes for "none of the above." He said that Krasnoyarsk voters "are literate, and know both the candidates," both of whom "have stated that they share [my] program in large part, and have signed the Treaty on Social Responsibility"—drawn up by Glazyev's team during the first-round campaign. Glazyev said that the task of the CPRF should be not to support one candidate or the other, but to make both candidates accept "elementary responsibility for working to raise the population's standard of living, and to acknowledge that they should resign, if people's welfare is not improved."
Khloponin won the Sept. 22 run-off.
The Russian leftist daily Sovetskaya Rossiya Sept. 21 carried a report from the intelligence-linked Stringer agency, which claims that Russian President Putin's staff is preparing to invite Glazyev to become an economic adviser to the President, and Nikolai Ryzhkov and Yuri Maslyukov as advisers to Prime Minister Kasyanov. Ryzhkov is a former Prime Minister of the U.S.S.R., while industry expert Maslykov served as First Deputy Prime Minister in Yevgeni Primakov's 1998-99 government. Stringer casts the allegedly planned appointments strictly as a political maneuver to split the CPRF forces, ignoring the economic policy implications—at a moment when more and more people in the Russian elite realize that a new economic policy is needed.