Russian presidential candidates-1996


State Duma Deputy

Vladimir Bryntsalov was born on November 23, 1946 in the town of Cherkessk in the Karachai-Cherkess autonomous region of Stavropol Territory (now - Karachai-Cherkess Republic). Russian.
Bryntsalov graduated from the Novocherkassk Polytechnic Institute in 1969. For a long time he taught special courses at the Cherkessk junior technical college, worked as a foreman in construction and then as manager of a construction firm. At the age of 27 he headed a big construction organization. In 1979 he was expelled from the CPSU for "petty bourgeois trends" because he built for himself a three-storey house. After that he worked as a team leader at a farm that raised blue foxes.
In 1987 Bryntsalov set up the cooperative Pchyolka which had 15,000 bee hives. Later on he opened a confectionery factory. The Pchyolka cooperative supplied raw materials to the Karpov Pharmaceutical Plant. When the plant was privatized in 1990 the Pchyolka cooperative initially owned 12 percent of the shares but, as claimed by Bryntsalov, he was the only one who contributed cash - 480 million rubles (or 16 million dollars according to the then exchange rate). He bought the shares on condition of full control over the plant's finances and was appointed financial director. He also actively bought up shares from the plant's personnel.
In 1989 Bryntsalov headed the firm AgroBioApis founded by the production association Mosmedpreparaty and the cooperative Pchyolka. In 1990 he organized the Moscow Association of Drug Manufacturers consisting of his cooperative Pchyolka and three pharmaceutical plants. On September 1, 1990 the association got a new name - the joint stock company Verein (later changed spelling to "Ferane" to avoid trade mark lawsuit). On buying up all the shares of the joint stock company, Bryntsalov demanded in 1992 that the management be elected and in the same year was elected president of Ferane. At present Ferane accounts for 70 percent of all pharmaceuticals produced in the Moscow region. The company has about 100 shareholders, including 20 foreign ones (as at the beginning of 1996 the authorized capital of Ferane amounted to 100 billion rubles). Bryntsalov claims that the average wage of Ferane employees is 800 dollars a month. He controls 90 percent of the shares of Ferane.
On November 26, 1995 the magazine Dengi wrote that Bryntsalov's company Ferane produces more than 30 percent of the medicinal preparations that are consumed in Russia. "In addition to this his empire includes a commercial bank, an insurance company, a law firm, as well as a number of enterprises that produce porcelain, furniture, textiles and alcoholic beverages". Ferane maintains business contacts with firms in Hungary, Germany and India, and is also investing in these countries. The company has accounts in 60 countries. But Bryntsalov made most of his money by distilling alcoholic beverages. For this his colleagues in the Duma have nicknamed him "Moonshiner". Bryntsalov owns real estate in the United States, Switzerland, France and other countries. In December 1995 he was involved in a scandal when the tax authorities checked the joint stock company Ferane.
In December 1993 he stood for election to the State Duma of the first convocation in the Orekhovo-Zuyevo constituency (Moscow region), but failed. In 1995 he ran again on the list of Ivan Rybkin's bloc, being first in the regional group "Karachai-Cherkess Republic", and also in the territorial Orekhovo-Zuyevo constituency No. 111. On December 17, 1995 he was elected to the State Duma from the Orekhovo-Zuyevo constituency.
In January 1996 Bryntsalov nearly joined the Russian Regions deputies' group (before official registering of groups) but at the beginning of Duma sessions joined the group People's Power.
A member of the Duma Health Protection Committee, Bryntsalov wanted to be its chairman under the quota allotted to the People's Power group, but failed to get Nikolai Ryzhkov's support. After that he left People's Power and became an independent deputy.
In January 1996 Bryntsalov joined the Social Democratic Party of the Russian Federation (SDPR).
On January 22, 1996 the Central Electoral Commission registered authorized representatives of the group that nominated Bryntsalov as its candidate for the presidency of the Russian Federation (the group was headed by Pyotr Yakovenko).
In March 1996 Bryntsalov announced the establishment of a Russian Socialist Party (its constituent congress was scheduled for April 27, 1996). He links his main hopes of success with participation in the presidential elections in the year 2000: "We will enter the elections with a powerful organization - the Socialist Party".
On March 20, 1996 the group that nominated Bryntsalov submitted to the Central Electoral Commission 1,349,941 signatures in his support. Bryntsalov stated that he had collected 2.8 million signatures but did not submit all of them so as not to overburden the Central Electoral Commission with work. But on March 28 the Central Electoral Commission refused to register him as a candidate because 127,000 signatures were found not to meet formal requirements, while another 350,000 signatures were declared to be forgeries because some of the collectors of signatures indicated in the lists turned out to be fictitious persons (if a collector is declared to be fictitious then not only the lists of signatures submitted by him but also all the other lists of signatures collected in the given region are declared as invalid). As a result, the Central Electoral Commission canceled all the signatures collected in Bryntsalov's native Karachai-Cherkess Republic and also in Moscow, including his own signature. Bryntsalov appealed the decision of the Central Electoral Commission in the Supreme Court and won his case.
Bryntsalov's personal estate is estimated by some (for instance, by Stern magazine) at two billion dollars, but this appears to be a gross overstatement.
Excerpts from Bryntsalov's election program: "to oblige employers to pay high wages so as to generate demand on the Russian market and out of taxes levied on high wages to form a budget worthy of our great power"; "to rapidly develop our own high-tech production on the level of the best world and national achievements"; "Russia's national resources should be used first of all for the development of the national industry"; "the national commodity producer should be protected by the imposition of high customs duties on imported products that are similar to those produced in Russia; "the state should support the Orthodox church and the other traditional creeds in order to revive the moral and cultural unity of Russia's peoples".
Bryntsalov describes the present situation in Russia as a "slave system. There is no freedom in the country at all - neither political, nor economic. Foreign firms are doing on our market what they like. We are ruled by inepts". It is claimed that Bryntsalov "has good relations" with Vladimir Zhirinovsky and is optimistic about future cooperation with him: "Zhirinovsky is a political businessman and it is always possible to strike a deal with a businessman".
He maintains business and friendly relations with Konstantin Borovoy and has made negative remarks about Aleksandr Lebed ("he directed his 14th Army against Russians"). Yet he does not rule out a future alliance with Lebed, as well as with Svyatoslav Fyodorov and Pyotr Romanov. Bryntsalov dislikes Anatoly Chubais. Speaking of Joseph Stalin, Bryntsalov remarked: "On the one hand, he is a villain, on the other hand, he is a great builder".
Twice married, his second wife Natalya is 20 years his junior. He has three children: son Alexei (born in 1992), daughter Yelena (born in 1993) and a daughter by his first marriage. On his mother's side Bryntsalov is a relative of the Ataman of the Union of Cossacks, State Duma deputy (from Our Home is Russia fraction) Aleksandr Martynov.
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