New right-wing liberal party formed in Russia (Lead)

November 16th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Nov 16 (RIA Novosti) Three Russian liberal parties Sunday voted to merge themselves into a new outfit styled Pravoye Delo (Right Cause). The three parties which dissolved their respective organisations are the Union of Right Forces (SPS), the Democratic Party and Civil Force parties.

At the founding congress Sunday, 279 delegates from 79 regions voted unanimously to form the party.

The organisers of the new party earlier said in a statement that its principles were “democracy, the free market, the rule of law and the equality of all before the law.”

The party’s three co-chairmen will be Boris Titov, Georgy Bovt and Leonid Gozman, senior members of the now dissolved Civil Force, the Democratic Party and the SPS, respectively.

The party is expected to take part in the March 2009 regional elections.

Other Russian opposition parties criticised the merger and said the new outfit would be only too close to the Kremlin.

Russia’s leading liberal politician Boris Nemtsov as well as Maria Gaidar, daughter of the former prime minister Yegor Gaidar, were said to have protested the move.

The SPS was co-financed by former oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovski until his imprisonment in 2003.

The Democratic Party at its founding in 1990 was the single political alternative to the Communist Party. After the fall of the Soviet Union the party lost most of its support.

The Citizens’ Force was founded in 2004 under the name Free Russia.

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