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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Communists Say Economic Plan Like Yeltsin's

Leaders of Gennady Zyuganov's national-patriotic bloc Thursday sketched out the economic basis of their candidate's plan for a coalition government if he wins the July 3 presidential elections, arguing that the communist program was similar to President Boris Yeltsin's and could serve as the basis for a common non-party policy.

"If you analyze the president's program and that of the national-patriotic bloc, they coincide in many areas, and these provide the ground for the sort of economic accord we are calling for," Yury Voronin, deputy chairman of the State Duma budget committee, told a press conference.

Zyuganov announced his plans for a coalition government Monday, releasing a list of non-communist politicians he would invite to join him. Many of those named, including Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fyodorov, rejected the possibility.

But Yury Maslyukov, chairman of the State Duma's economic policy committee, said that a broad-based coalition of political forces was still possible, and that, if this occurred, the new government could use the communist program modified with ideas from Alexander Lebed, the new secretary of the National Security Council, and even from Yeltsin.

Maslyukov, formerly head of GosPlan, the state economic planning agency, said the communist economic program did not represent a return to centralized Soviet-era economic policies. "We do not intend to take anything away, or to nationalize anything, or to collectivize anything," he said. "We support all forms of ownership which have been created to date."

In response to press reports of the radical economic consequences of a communist victory, he released a statement listing "What we will not do."

According to Maslyukov, Zyuganov's coalition government would not confiscate or nationalize private property. A Zyuganov government would not fix prices or allow deficits of consumer goods. There would be no lines outside stores or special coupons or ration cards. "No one is planning to build a new 'iron curtain,'" he announced. "The borders will be open to everyone, including shuttle-traders."

Maslyukov, however, said that communists were planning an increase in inflation, to between 2.5 and 3.5 percent monthly from the current 1.3 percent. Communists would print money to pay for their social programs, he said, arguing that economic growth would neutralize the effects and keep inflation down.