Two-candidate scenario would be the most comprehensible one – Communist party

Vladimir Putin (L) and Dmitry Medvedev (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolsky)
Nomination of two presidential candidates in 2012 would be the most comprehensible scenario for society, believes first deputy head of the Communist party and the Deputy-Speaker of the State Duma Ivan Melnikov.

­He said on Monday that the Dmitry Medvedev’s decision not to run for presidency alongside Vladimir Putin means that the ruling tandem is afraid of losing power.  

Talking to the Financial Times, President Dmitry Medvedev said that he rules out an election contest with the prime minister. When asked whether it is possible for him and Vladimir Putin to run for president at the same time, he replied, “It is hard for me to imagine this for at least one reason. The thing is, Vladimir Putin (my old friend and colleague) and I, strictly speaking, represent the same political force. Competition between us would bring harm to the goals and tasks we have been working on for the past several years. It would not be good for Russia and it would not be good in this specific situation.”

“Dmitry Medvedev’s stance is of course a certain signal for politicians as many actually accept the possibility that there might be two candidates from power,” Melnikov commented. “First, this corresponds both to the letter and spirit of the law, because presidential elections are not only the choice between programs but also between personalities.”

“Second, this would be the most comprehensible way out of quite a complicated situation, otherwise an important part of the presidential election will be de-facto held ‘behind closed doors’, that among the elite,” Melnikov added.

In his opinion, Medvedev’s words mean “only one thing: they are now searching for the most pragmatic scenario and the risk of losing power is evaluated as high.” The politician went on to say that they take opposition forces rather seriously, and “for good reason.”

The Communists’ deputy head reiterated his party’s position on the election, saying that there is no perfect scenario.