A party based on a solid ideology never dies. It does not matter whether it is in or out of power. Two decades after the ban imposed by then Russian President Boris Yeltsin on November 6, 1991, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) that also earlier unsuccessfully tried to go through perestroika and glasnost to cope with the changing circumstances, still lives on in the modern political system of the erstwhile Soviet superpower.
The ruling United Russia party mostly comprises of the Communist era 'haves', although the change in the regional leadership by President Dmitry Medvedev, a past member of the Young Communist League, has installed former CPSU youth wing members in place of powerful ex-secretaries, who smoothly moved to the posts of Governors after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The United Russia, formally led by Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, is often termed as the 'trade-union' of ex-CPSU members by its opponents for the Soviet-style politics and depriving the Parliament of its voice by overwhelming the Duma with the help of 'administrative resources'. Two decades on, the Russian society is still split on whether it was for better or for worse the ban on CPSU that had ruled over the Soviet Union for 74 years.
It is noteworthy that a month after the ban, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics collapsed, which once by Putin was described as the 'catastrophe of enormous proportions'. Slightly less than half of Russians (47 per cent) believe that Yeltsin's decision was wrong, while only 26 per cent approve of the move, according to a recent poll carried out by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre.
Twenty years ago, these figures were rather different, with 38 per cent of people in favour of the decision and the same number against it. Today, the Communist party of the Russian Federation revived as the parliamentary party in 1993 as the successor to the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic's Communist party, is the second most powerful after the United Russia. It claims to have support of 35 per cent people.
Many experts here believe that in case of fair elections on December 4, the KPRF led by Gennady Zyuganov will improve its position in new Duma and the ruling United Russia, which has two-thirds majority in the outgoing house will have to be satisfied with simple majority in the 450-strong lower house.