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Union of Right Forces

From Academic Kids

Template:Politics of Russia The Union of Right Forces, or SPS (Сою́з Пра́вых Сил, СПС/Soyuz Pravykh Sil), is a Russian political party commonly associated with free market reforms, privatization, and the legacy of the 'Young Reformers' of the 1990's: Anatoly Chubais, Boris Nemtsov, and Yegor Gaidar. Chubais and Nemtsov, along with Irina Khakamada, the party's unofficial candidate in Russia's March presidential elections, constitute the party's leadership. The Party is considered by most western media organs such as the Economist, and the BBC to be one of Russia's only parties that support western-style capitalism, and is often named a liberal party. It is affiliated to the International Democratic Union. The Liberal International has as its Russian member the Yabloko party.

In 1999, the Party, then new, gained 32 seats in Russia's Parliament. However, following the 2003 elections, it maintains a mere 2 seats out of 450. A number of SPS candidates came second in single-mandate electoral districts, such as Irina Khakamada in St. Petersburg, Vladimir V. Kara-Murza in Moscow, or Boris Nadezhdin in the Moscow region.

According to Russian electoral law, a party must gain 5% of the popular vote in order to gain seats. The Union of Right Forces, which is closely associated with the groups involved in the privatisation of the 1990, won 3.8% of the vote. Khakamada's presidential bid fared slightly better; she won 3.9% of the vote.

According to the Economist, "The liberals' chief faces are Yabloko's Mr Yavlinsky, who after ten years as almost the sole front-man of Russia's social conscience resembles an embittered torch-singer; and SPS's Anatoly Chubais, who as deputy prime minister in the mid-1990s oversaw the privatisations that made the oligarchs rich." (Economist, 11 Dec 2003) Chubais is himself considered a 'магнат' or oligarch in Russia; he is the President of UES, the state energy company.

However, many suspect foul play on the part of the President and his United Russia party in the counting of votes during Russia's December, 2003 elections. Both the Communists and the Yabloko Party concur that a re-count would have placed SPS above the 5% hurdle rate. These criticisms had a direct bearing on the March elections, in which several of the parties, including Rodina, SPS, and Yabloko refused to officially endorse a candidate. However, Sergey Glazyev (of Rodina) and Irina Khakamada both ran without party endorsements, and were able to gain the number of signatures necessary to run as independents.

At an annual meeting on June 26, 2004 all party leadership (Presidium of the Federal Political Council) resigned. Only Anatoly Chubais and Boris Nemtsov remain in the Council, but not in the Presidium.

See also

External link

ru:Союз правых сил

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