Communist Party of the Russian Federation
Published 23rd November, 2011
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation or KPRF was founded in February 1993 and is the successor to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (KPSS) which was founded in January 1912 by Vladimir Lenin and others and which ruled until 1991 when it was dissolved. The party describes itself as communist and believes in communism, Marxism-Leninism and patriotism.
In the February 1993 congress the party elected Gennady Zyuganov as its leader and in the elections of that year it took 48 of the 450 seats in the Duma, making it the third largest party in the parliament.
Although the Duma did not play a prominent role in decision making with a strong executive presidency, the party came first in the 1995 elections, taking 157 seats with 22.3% of the vote. They also came first in 1999, taking 113 seats and 24.29% of the vote.
In the 1996 presidential election Gennady Zyuganov pushed Boris Yeltsin to a second round runoff, but lost, taking 40.3% of the vote.
In the 2000 presidential election Zyuganov came second once more but this time with just 29.21% of the vote to Vladimir Putin’s 52.94% of the vote.
By 2003 Putin and his United Russia was proving too strong and the KPRF won 52 seats with 12.61% of the vote, although they were still the second largest party in the Duma.
In 2004 the KPRF decided to back Nikolay Kharitonov of the Agrarian Party for the presidential election, but it had little effect and he picked up just 13.69% of the vote and second place.
By now the party was in decline and the leadership of Gennady Zyuganov was being questioned. In late 2004 two meetings in Moscow claiming to be the official party congress met on the same day. One elected Zyuganov the other chose Vladimir Tikhonov. The Ministry of Justice eventually ruled in favour of the ‘Zyuganovite’ congress.
In 2007 the party did slightly better in the Duma elections, winning 57 seats but with just 11.57% of the vote.
In 2008 Gennady Zyuganov tried once more for the presidency but his support was at an all time low at just 17.96% of the vote.
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is a member of the Union of Communist Parties — Communist Party of the Soviet Union (UPC-CPSU) a group of communist parties from the former Soviet Union.