| Two months after their painful defeat in the State Duma
elections, most of
the country's leading liberals have put their political ambitions on hold,
with many saying they have found other jobs outside politics.
Some have accepted posts in government or private business, while others
have resumed their academic careers.
The Union of Right Forces, or SPS, leader Boris Nemtsov was named a
director of Kontsern Neftyanoi, a company led by Igor Linshits, an
associate reported to be an SPS party sponsor, Interfax reported Wednesday.
Several leading lights in Yabloko, including party chief Grigory
Yavlinsky, his deputy Sergei
Ivanenko and several former deputies, such as Alexei
Arbatov and Alexei Melnikov,
have joined EPI Center, a think tank Yavlinsky founded in the early 1990s
to generate economic programs.
The center has been largely overshadowed in recent years as most of
staffers were employed at the Duma.
Arbatov, a prominent defense and security expert, has resumed his academic
career with the Academy of Sciences' Center for International Security,
on Feb. 1 also took up a post as an analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center.
President Vladimir Putin asked the Duma on Wednesday to appoint former
Yabloko deputy Vladimir Lukin
as its human rights commissioner.
Putin wrote to the Duma naming Lukin as his candidate for the job, the
presidential press service said in a statement. Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov
told reporters later Wednesday that deputies would most probably vote
favor of the president's nomination.
Lukin, a foreign affairs expert who served as ambassador to the United
States in 1992-93 before his election to the Duma, accepted the offer,
The term of the first human rights commissioner, Oleg Mironov, expired
May, but he has stayed on as interim commissioner because the Duma has
elected a successor.
On Dec. 8, the day after the elections, when it became clear that neither
Yabloko nor SPS had managed to pass the 5 percent barrier to enter the
as a bloc, Putin said the ideas and experience of liberal lawmakers would
be in great demand. But two months after the elections, only a few former
liberal deputies have found governmental jobs.
A reported exception is Yabloko's Igor
Artemyev, who has been offered the post of deputy economic development
and trade minister, Yabloko party spokeswoman Yevgenia
Dillendorf said Wednesday.
But a ministry spokesman contacted Wednesday said that the appointment
not been finalized yet.
Another prominent Yabloko member, Valery
Ostanin, has been appointed to head the personnel department of the
Audit Chamber, the parliamentary watchdog of budget funds.
At least two other ex-Yabloko deputies were in talks over governmental
jobs, Dillendorf said.
Former Education Committee chairman Alexander
Shishlov was in talks for a job with the Education Ministry to push
through education system reforms, his spokesman Mikhail Lobanov said.
Sergei Mitrokhin, a housing
and utilities sector expert, was touted for a post with Gosstroi, the
State Construction Committee. Mitrokhin confirmed Wednesday that he was
in talks with Gosstroi, but had not received a formal job offer yet.
Boris Nadezhdin, a former SPS deputy leader, has returned to a full-time
lecturing job at the Moscow Physical Technical Institute. "I have
resumed working as a full-time lecturer and chief of the department I
founded," he said.
While he said he was in "preliminary talks" about a governmental
added he was reluctant to take any state job until after the presidential
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