Agrarian Party of Russia

Agrarian Party of Russia
   Political party. Known in Russian as the Agrarnaia partiia Rossii (APR), the Agrarian Party was a leftist political party dedicated to the interests of Russia’s farmers and rural residents. It was one of the few parties in the Russian Federation that catered to a specific socioeconomic or interest group. Mikhail Lapshin founded the party in February 1993, and guided the APR to a respectable showing and 53 seats in the State Duma. Lapshin, also president of the Altay Republic (2002–2006), would be the party’s guiding force until he stepped down in 2004. The party originated at the behest of the All-Russian Council on Collective Farms and other stakeholders in the newly independent Russian Federation’s agroindustrial complex. The party platform included the protection of farmers’ rights, support for agriculture, and advocacy of Russia’s rural residents. It sought to exercise influence on the federal government’s agrarian policies and renew the centrality of the countryside in Russian society. The party possessed a strong socialist leaning, and worked to improve the status of the poor and place quotas on food imports, while supporting perpetuation of collective farming. Patriotism and pride in the motherland were also tenets of party ideology.
   Not surprisingly, the APR often allied itself with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF); in the mid-1990s, the two parties collectively controlled 25 percent of the Duma. The APR’s popularity was halved (from 8 percent to 4 percent) in the 1995 Duma elections, bleeding support mostly to the better-organized KPRF. The party’s poor showings continued into the new millennium, though the party’s candidate, Nikolay Kharitonov, placed second in the 2004 presidential election, winning 13.7 percent of the vote. In 2007, the Agrarian Party failed to win any seats in the Duma and merged with the pro-government United Russia the following year.
   See also Rural life.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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