| Boris Nemtsov and Irina Khakamada could be expelled
from the party
Another internal conflict seems to be brewing within the leadership
of the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS). According to sources close to
the SPS campaign team, Anatoly Chubais, head of the RAO UES and a co-leader
of the SPS, is planning a purge of the party ranks immediately after the
parliamentary elections. SPS co-leaders Boris Nemtsov and Irina Khakamada
are expected to lose their party membership cards as a result.
The discord in the SPS ranks would appear to be attributable to the
notorious saga of a possible merger between the SPS and YABLOKO. After
YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky
declared that it would be impossible for his party to unite with somebody
like Chubais, it appears that Chubais completely gave up on any idea of
a union - and is now revising SPS strategy towards confrontation with
YABLOKO. However, Nemtsov and Khakamada take the opposite view. Despite
the official impossibility of uniting the two democratic parties, they
are seeking to strengthen cooperation links with YABLOKO.
Judging by reports from the SPS camp, Anatoly Chubais is highly displeased
with the political independence being displayed by his party colleagues.
To avert any deeper crisis within the party, he intends to get rid of
his recalcitrant co-leaders. Of course, the adoption of such radical measures
before the elections might cut into the SPS's already-low chances of being
elected to the Duma.
This would appear to be the reason why the personnel purges have been
postponed until after the elections.
State Duma elections
YABLOKO and SPS