Interview with Vladimir Semago

Vladimir Semago, a member of Russia's State Duma, shared his views on the newly announced number one on the electoral list of the United Russia party with RT.

Russia Today: What do you make of the Putin’s recent statement?

Vladimir Semago: I think that definitely it is a shock; shock for all the people, excluding maybe two or three persons in the Kremlin and at the top of United Russia party. But as far as the situation in our country in the future election campaign is concerned, I guess it was a shock for the Fair Russia party most of all because they've declared that they support Mr Putin.

They declared, along with their leader Mr Mironov, that he supported Mr Putin. So, in this case, he has to support the leader of the antagonist, the leader of the other party. It is ridiculous and only in our country could we have this situation. So the next logical step will be that in the parliament two parties have to make a new union and just go as one political troop into the future elections. As far as the chances of the party, I mean the United Russia party, I guess they have to have more than 60% of the votes now.

RT: Lets talk about the political landscape, all the balance of forces there, the other parties and their participation. Do you think that under the circumstances it is realistic for the party to get the majority of seats in parliament?

V.S.: I think it will depend on the economic situation, definitely, but we have only a short period, October and November. I guess we have no troubles here. As for the other parties, the landscape will be changed because the small parties which had no real chance of getting into parliament now have a chance.This is because we see the usual names, the Liberal Democratic Party headed by Mr Zhirinovsky and the Fair Russia party of Mr Mironov are now in a very bad position because they supported Putin – what will be their strategy? So it means that new gamblers have to come, political gamblers, I mean.

RT: And the threshold is now 7%. So the chances are that they might not be getting the 7% necessary?

V.S.: I think there's a chance they won't get the 7%.

RT: So it makes it difficult for them now?

V.S.: Yes, they have no base now. You could not support the leader of the antagonist party, the leader of the enemy, it is ridiculous.

RT: Do you think that by agreeing to top United Russia’s list President Putin is sort of seeking a personal guarantee for his political future after the 2008 presidential elections?

V.S.: I think we could not say a personal guarantee because he has it. He had it before and he has it now. I think it is a strategy. He declares in this way to the whole country what will happen in the future, how he will return back to power, to the top. I think it is logical, it is not so amazing, it is not that shocking, because people need this. They are just asking themselves: how will it be? So Mr Putin said: it can be this way. And I guess it is good for making the political climate in our country more comfortable now because now we will have no storms. We know now how it will be. For the climate it is the best thing, including the political situation too.