ROAR: Right Cause party pledges support if Medvedev runs in 2012

The right-wing party has become the first to announce its support for the incumbent president if he decides to run in the next election.

“There are two possible ways for the country’s development,” Leonid Gozman, a co-chairman of the Right Cause, said. “One is modernization, and the other is stagnation, or continuation of development based on exploiting raw material resources and vast territories,” he told Russian News Service radio. “Of course, we are for the first path, which is evidently linked with President Medvedev.”

The most preferable figure among all possible candidates is “the man who has tied his name with the modernization course,” Gozman said, although he stressed that “Medvedev did not ask the party to support him.”

The Right Cause backs Dmitry Medvedev, although it does have questions for him, online newspaper quoted the party’s press service as saying. Gozman said, “This choice seems the most natural to us and it opens more opportunities for the country.”

On Tuesday, Georgy Bovt, a co-chairman of the party that advocates free-market economy and democracy, said that “the agenda of the country’s development has been formulated, and this is modernization.” He believes that all political forces should determine their attitude to this process. “No economic modernization is possible without modernization at the political level,” Bovt said. The current “watershed” separates plutocracy and the rest of the people rather than liberals and conservatives, he added.

Medvedev has not indicated whether he has been seeking the right-wing party’s support. During his meeting with business, scientific and public circles at America’s Stanford University in June, he did not rule out his participation in the 2012 election. “If by that time my plans start being implemented, if I have the support of our people… if I have the desire to continue, then I do not rule this out,” RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying.

However, both Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is also expected by many to run in 2012, have indicated several times that they will discuss the issue as the election draws closer.

“We’ve decided that we are not going to rush around and divert our attention to this issue in advance – at the expense of our main job,” Putin said, speaking with French journalists in June. “The results will show what we are going to do in 2012.”

“The Right Cause has become the first party to announce who it will support in the 2012 presidential election,” Vedomosti daily said. At the same time, Gozman made it clear that the party understands the course for modernization in a different way, the paper noted.

However, Boris Titov, the party’s third co-chairman, said that the federal council had not yet discussed the issue of support for any candidate in 2012, the daily said. He believes it is “too early to discuss it as everything depends on how the country is being modernized, the economy diversified and investment climate improved.”

Other parties have not yet considered the 2012 presidential election as they are focusing on regional polls and the 2011 parliamentary elections, the paper said.

The position of the Communist Party is unchanged as it supports its leader Gennady Zyuganov, said a secretary of the central committee, Sergey Obukhov.

“The project of the Right Cause is in crisis,” political scientist Evgeny Minchenko told the paper. “They have not found their identity and Bovt’s statement is the party’s attempt to find it in the eyes of the liberal public as Medvedev’s party,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Grigory Yavlinsky, the founder and former leader of another liberal party, Yabloko, said on Friday he did not rule out his participation in the next presidential election. “It is possible, but the decision will be taken later,” he told reporters during the meeting of the party’s federal council. Yabloko party considers election the main direction of the party’s work and will use it rather than “radical forms of political struggle,” he noted.

Sergey Borisov,Russian Opinion and Analysis Review, RT