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PARNAS to become Republican People’s Freedom Party June 16

May 19, 2012, 23:35 UTC+3

Kasyanov confirmed that the main purpose of the “modernised” party would be to change the political regime constitutionally, not revolutionarily

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MOSCOW, May 19 (Itar-Tass) —— The People's Freedom Party (PARNAS) will run in regional elections this autumn from the Republican Party that will change its name to “Republican People’s Freedom Party” for this purpose.

The consolidating congress of the Republican Party of Russia (RPR) and PARNAS, where the decision on the change of the name is to be adopted, will be held on June 16, as scheduled, PARNAS co-leader Mikhail Kasyanov said.

“We will hold a PRP-PARNAS congress on June 16, but in fact it will be a PARNAS congress where the decision will be adopted to modernise PARNAS, specifically to change the name. We will recommend ‘Republican People’s Freedom Party’,” he said at a congress of the Russian People’s Democratic Union, of which he is also a co-chairman, on Saturday, May 19.

Kasyanov confirmed that the main purpose of the “modernised” party would be to change the political regime constitutionally, not revolutionarily.

The party will participate in all regional elections this autumn but has no intention to step down its protest activities and will work to increase the number of its supporters, including in social networks.

In his opinion, Just Russia and the Communist Party members, mainly in regions, could be potential allies.

“We may as well cooperate with the communists in regions without betraying our values,” Kasyanov said.

He believes that Yabloko could also be an ally but it “does not want to pool forces and is drifting leftward”.

Kasyanov said businessman Mikhail Prokhorov cannot become “a real opposition leader” and has largely given up plans to create his own party. However he has “supporters and these people should join us”, he added.

Kasyanov said the renovated party will be an ideological successor to PARNAS. “Our task is to right to freedom and against corruption,” he said.

Republican Party Co-Chair Valentina Melnikova welcomed the decision that PARNAS members will participate in regional elections in the autumn of 2012 using the Republican Party as a legal entity, not PARNAS' registration.

“I am glad that the Republican Party will provide the platform for a big democratic party,” she said.

PARNAS is co-chaired by former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and Boris Nemtsov. It was created about two years ago but could not obtain official registration from the Justice Ministry.

The People's Freedom Party was created in December 2010. Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Milov and Vladimir Ryzhkov became its co-chairmen. Documents for registration were submitted in late May 2011. At that time, PARNAS had 53 regional offices and more than 46,000 members.

The Justice Ministry denied registration to the party in June on account that its charter “contains provisions that contravene the Law on Political Parties or other federal laws”.

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