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Argumenty i Fakty

The Right Wing

No. 23, June 2002

As it should be, two years before the next presidential election, the campaign teams of leading political forces are starting to plan their strategy and tactics in preparation for this key event. For example, the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) is making new attempts to persuade all right-wing parties to field the same presidential candidate. The SPS Council will meet on July 21-22 and propose a selection method. The technique is quite simple. One presidential candidate from the democractic forces will be named by the party that obtains the most votes in the next parliamentary elections.

The list of parties capable of gaining 5% of the vote required to enter the Duma is not long: Yabloko, the URF, the Democratic Party of Russia (Mikhail Prusak), the Russian Union Social- Democratic Party (Mikhail Gorbachev), and maybe Liberal Russia.

It is already known that Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky is totally against the idea. He cites the fact that in 1995, after he and Yegor Gaidar shook hands on television and promised to unite, he was deceived. Gaidar maintains the opposite: that Yavlinsky said the next morning that he had been joking. Thus, the two of them are not on speaking terms.

Boris Berezovsky, who is directly involved in Liberal Russia, is also against the agreement. Reportedly, he intends to invest up to $150 million in the Liberal Russia party, hoping to gain a substantial faction in the Duma. Time will tell.

And lastly - it is already known how big business has responded to the proposal of the SPS: positively. And big business funds practically all political parties.

Argumenty i Fakty, No. 23, June 2002

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