RUSSIALINK: “A Just Russia offers Communists to pool efforts for pension referendum – Mironov” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

ROSTOV-ON-DON. Sept 3 (Interfax) – The parliament factions of the Russian Communist Party and A Just Russia should pool efforts to make the pension referendum happen, A Just Russia’s faction leader Sergei Mironov said at a press conference in Rostov-on-Don.

“I have offered our Communist Party colleagues in the State Duma to combine efforts [towards holding the referendum]. Clearly, everything is being done to escalate competition between initiative groups so that neither of them gains support of the required number of regions,” Mironov said.

Working together is the only way to organize the referendum by at least one of the initiative groups, he said.

About 93% of Russians opposed the raising of the retirement age before President Vladimir Putin softened the reform bill, and the current percentage nears 80%, Mironov said.

“If people say ‘no’ at the referendum, this bill will have to be frozen,” he said.

A Just Russia’s faction supports the amendments proposed by Putin but will not vote for raising the retirement age in the second or third readings, Mironov said.

“The president has had to address the nation: he is correcting blunders of the government that submitted an anti-people’s bill. The president has had to react and correct our government. Of course, our faction supports the amendments proposed by the president, but we will not vote for the bill in the second and third readings because, unfortunately, the essence of this bill is unchanged,” Mironov said.

“There are neither political nor economic grounds for holding the pension reform,” he said.