It is show time on the Russian political stage. In a little more than two months Russians will cast their votes at a parliamentary election and the opposition parties say they?re no longer satisfied with the roles of supporting actors.
The threshold for party representation in the new State Duma has been increased to 7% but opposition parties still believe they can challenge the dominance of the pro-Kremlin United Russia, which enjoys a huge majority in the current Parliament.
The Communists have come up with new tricks. They no longer reject private property - in fact, the party now positions itself as a defender of small business. And the new enemy is not the government but rather those who are trying to depose it.
"Our bourgeoisie is weak and cowardly. That?s why it?s calling on the working class to carry out an Orange revolution - similar to that in Ukraine. In other words, to organise the second coming of oligarchs, which is absolutely unacceptable," stated Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party of Russia.
Civil Force party leader Mikhail Barshchevsky used to represent the Russian government in courts as a lawyer. Now he believes it is stifling small business in Russia.
"An artist who paints street portraits or a vendor who sells souvenirs - they are small businessmen. But neither of them would ever think of dealing with the authorities to get a licence or to pay taxes. Why? Because it?s a headache. But we need to make it easy," he stressed.
Fair Russia also portrays itself as an opposition party - a stance that experts say could help it draw voters away from the Communists.
"For us, socialism is the only way to preserve the country as an important player and make Russia the leader of human civilisation," claimed Sergey Mironov, Fair Russia leader.
In previous elections, this right-wing Union of Right Forces party failed to get enough votes to get into the State Duma but now they say they are ready to make up.
"Russia?s transition to democracy has halted. We can see how, step by step, Russian people are abandoning powers granted to them by the Constitution and handing them over to bureaucrats. But there are people who are against it," underlined Nikita Belykh, the Union of Right Forces party leader.
The Yabloko, or Apple, party failed to get 5% of the popular vote in previous elections - the minimum then required to enter the Parliament. Starting from this year, the threshold was raised to 7% but the party?s leader is beaming with optimism.
"While not being in parliament, the party has become stronger. Career-makers, come-and-go people and those who come to politics to make money - all of them have left the party. Only those who truly believe in our course have remained. I think we have good prospects," noted Grigory Yavlinsky, the Yabloko party leader.
With more than two months left until the parliamentary elections, the political talent show is still in its early stages.