On Saturday, Russia’s Republican Party /RPR/ and the Party of People’s Freedom /PARNAS/ had their merge congress. Vladimir Ryzhkov, Boris Nemtsov and Mikhail Kasyanov were elected co chairs of RPR-PARNAS. The main demand of the party is to follow resolutions of the rallies in Bolotnaya Square and Sakharov Avenue. During regional and municipal elections, the party will be ready to cooperate with all democratic forces.
The congress adopted by a unanimous vote a political declaration, which proclaims the party’s priority “universal values of human rights and freedoms,” the Kommersant writes. the party claims its major demand is fulfilment of the resolutions adopted at the rallies in Bolotnaya Square and Sakharov Avenue in December of 2011, which include – liberation of political prisoners, “real political reform” and “on this base organisation of early presidential and parliamentary elections no later than 2013.” The declaration stresses the “party does not accept use of force,” and will achieve its goals “only by peaceful means in compliance with the Constitution.”
The Moskovsky Komsomolets writes that RPR was organised back in 1990, several times was represented at the parliament as a part of blocks or coalitions, and in 2007 it was removed from the smaller party field and retreated to backstage of the opposition. Meanwhile its leader, Vladimir Ryzhkov, united with Mikhail Kasyanov (Russian People-Democratic Union) and with Boris Nemtsov (Solidarity) into a liberal union – PARNAS. But the party kept failing the registration procedures. As following the Strasbourg Court, RPR regained its legal status, became evident the decision how to avoid bureaucratic barriers and to register the party. The optimal variant being acquisition of PARNAS by RPR. Soon the Ministry of Justice will readjust documents and register the party’s new name.
Besides the technical new name, the congress delegates adopted a new version of the charter and the party’s declaration, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The party will have now a vast management structure – the party’s policy will be supervised by the federal political council of 45 members and a bureau of ten, including the three co-chairs.
The main intrigue of the congress on Saturday was a possible involvement of another co-chair Ilya Yashin, Solidarnost’s member of the bureau. However, this did not happen, and the heads of the Republican Party remain to be Ryzhkov, Nemtsov and Kasyanov. Yashin told in an interview with the Nezavisimaya Gazeta on Sunday he would prefer not to go into details of what had happened: “Several structures have been discussed, but due to various circumstances the present one was chosen.”
PRP-PARNAS short-term plans are to participant in regional and municipal elections. The first ones may be elections to Saratov’s regional Duma due in autumn of the current year. Yashin made a mysterious hint the head of party’s list may come from the federal level, but refused to give the name.