|Nicholas II - the last Tsar of Russia.|
It’s been the premise of not a few thrillers, but restoration of the Russian Tsar is now the goal of a political party. RT reports that the Tsarist Russia party held its first congress in Moscow yesterday.
The group proposes that a modern Zemsky Sobor or ‘assembly of the land’ be called in order to choose a monarch. A rudimentary parliament of that name elected Boris Godunov to the throne after the Rurik dynasty ended in 1598.
The party is certainly ambitious. It hopes to build up a 10-20% vote share with a populist programme tapping into images and symbols from Russia‘s distant past.
Another less eccentric group is also charged with exploiting emotive historical events for its electoral advantage.
A Just Russia was the pro-Kremlin party designed to offer an alternative to United Russia on the centre-left. It supported Medvedev’s nomination for the presidency and squeaked into the state Duma at the 2007 election.
But the regime kept its distance from the party, after Putin aligned himself squarely behind United Russia and A Just Russia took a harder left nationalist line, moving into territory dominated by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
Now it has won the right to field a candidate called Dmitry Stalin in a regional election for the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region in Siberia. The Central Election Commission initially banned Stalin because of his contentious surname.
The controversy led to A Just Russia releasing a rather incongruous statement claiming “Stalin demands democracy”. Meanwhile the party’s political opponents claim it is engaged in dirty tactics, using the candidate’s name to stir up emotions and attract votes.
As ever, Russian news websites are rarely boring.