10:16 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Communists refuse to unite with Just Russia

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    MOSCOW, May 29 (RIA Novosti) - The Communist Party (KPRF) said Tuesday it is not interested in joining forces with the Just Russia party, dashing its leader's unionist hopes.

    The comment by Ivan Melnikov, KPRF first deputy chairman, followed a statement by Sergei Mironov, Federation Council speaker and leader of Just Russia, who said Saturday his party was ready to join forces with the Communists. The United Socialist Party of Russia merged with the Just Russia party May 26.

    "We categorically and resolutely refuse to recognize Mironov's project as a truly leftist political force," Melnikov said. He described Mironov's bloc as "small organizations of unemployed officials and ambitious politicians" pretending to be "leftist."

    Established in October 2006, the Just Russia party was designed to challenge United Russia, the current "party of power" in the run up to parliamentary elections in December. United Russia enjoys a massive majority in the State Duma and Just Russia strongly supports President Vladimir Putin. Experts dismiss the party as another Kremlin project designed to poach votes from leftist political forces.

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