Political parties should nominate presidential candidates

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MOSCOW, June 21 (RIA Novosti) - Deputy Chief of the Presidential Administration Vladislav Surkov said Tuesday that political parties need to prove they are capable of nominating their candidates. Russia needs parties that would not cause an irreversible change in the country's policy course, he told the German magazine Der Spiegel. According to Surkov, Russia has long been combating the ghost of Communism, and has now reached the point when the public opposes membership in any party. "It was natural then, but now it is not right.

 This is why the president supports the United Russia party. Similarly, Chancellor [Gerhard] Schroeder cooperates with the Social-Democratic Party of Germany," Surkov said.

He said Russia had prominent personalities from all parties of the political spectrum.

Surkov also said United Russia's unanimous position on crucial political issues should only be welcomed.

"We consider it the...conservative party and try to consolidate this position. There are too many parties on the left already. Three of the four parties in the Duma [parliament's lower house] are...nationalists. And United Russia represents liberal and conservative values with specifically Russian interpretation," he said.

According to Surkov, parties cannot be formed artificially or built by the Kremlin, but the problem is that the Russian multi-party system is unstable.

"It is hard to imagine now who the current authorities could peacefully pass power to," he said.

Surkov said he did not want to think of the Communists or the Motherland party (considered right-wing nationalists) sitting in the Kremlin.

He also said that the high barrier for making it into parliament encouraged parties to unite their efforts.

Nationalistic Bolsheviks, he said, pose danger that should not be underestimated.

"Terrorism has swept Russia. Last year alone, 250 terrorist attacks were registered. If Chauvinist pro-Nazi forces incite an upsurge in Islamic extremism, it would cause a serious threat to the integrity of our multi-ethnic country," Surkov said.

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