Russian Opposition Discusses New Partnership

Boris Nemtsov source - (c)Russia’s liberal opposition is preparing to join together and form a new democratic movement. Boris Nemtsov, a leader of the Union of Right Forces (SPS) party, told RIA Novosti that the movement will not be political or partisan, but will represent the interests of all involved groups.

Nemtsov named the key players in the new organization: the SPS, the Yabloko party, Mikhail Kasyanov’s People’s Democratic Union, the United Civil Front with leader Garry Kasparov, as well as Vladimir Ryzhkov, an independent politician. Lev Ponomarev, head of the For Human Rights NGO, told Interfax that he may also join the movement, and that he is currently engaged in consultations and negotiations.

“It’s too early to speak of any details,” Ponomarev said. “But I can say that it will be a liberal democratic movement with regional branches.”

Lyudmila Alekseyeva, head of the Moscow-Helsinki Group and another veteran of Russia’s Human Rights movement is not planning to take part. The executive director of the United Civil Front confirmed that party’s participation in negotiations.

On December 10th, 2007, Kasparov and Ryzhkov issued a joint statement where they revealed the idea for a new, broad-based and democratic opposition political party. At the time, Kasparov noted that since the Yabloko and SPS brands aren’t working, the question isn’t about uniting these parties, but about forming a new one.