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Homeland National-Patriotic Union

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Updated: 08.12.2003

The Homeland National-Patriotic Union (in Russian Rodina)electoral bloc was registered by the Justice Ministry on 14 September 2003. It is headed by Duma deputies Sergei Glazyev and Dmitry Rogozin and comprises 29 left-patriotic parties and organisations. Some analytics insist though that Homeland was set up by the so-called Family clan, which comprises holdovers from former President Boris Yeltsin's administration.

The bloc's manifesto emphasises the formation of a broad coalition oriented upon social justice on the basis of patriotism and surmounting political, economic, and ideological differences. It decries the injustices of the country's current system of exploiting its natural resources.

Homeland is among the winners of December 7, 2003 State Duma elections, having received a significant portion of support among the left-oriented electorate. The Communist Party has complained that Homeland is merely an attempt to split the Communists' electorate. Glazyev has argued that not running under the Communist Party banner will enable the bloc to receive a larger percentage of the patriotically oriented electorate.

Homeland co-leader Sergei Glazyev called for raising taxes on major oil companies and using the money to increase pensions and public sector wages.

His co-leader Dmitry Rogozin, presidential envoy for Kaliningrad and outspoken hawk, also hit out at the oil barons, but he interspersed his anti-oligarch tirades with calls for a greater Russia and vows to protect the interests of ethnic Russians abroad.

This hard-hitting rhetoric made Homeland so popular that the Kremlin started to become concerned that it would do too well in the elections and move beyond its control. Hence, regular coverage of Homeland on Channel One television came to an end more than a week before the vote.

Glazyev and Rogozin, who were members of the Communist and pro-Kremlin People's Deputy factions, respectively, in the previous Duma, have so far dodged the question of what alliances Homeland may form in the new Duma.

"We aim to form a new majority in the Duma together with other patriotic forces," said Glazyev, a definition broad enough to describe either the Communists or the People's Party, which has enjoyed the support of the Kremlin's siloviki clan.

Neither is Homeland likely to ally with any pro-Kremlin faction, although Rogozin may decide to split away to form a partnership with the People's Party, which was formed on the basis of the People's Deputy faction.

More likely, however, Glazyev will ally with those Communists who have lost belief in Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov.

Related links: Homeland Official Site

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