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THE KREMLIN SETS UP LIBERAL PARTY
MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - The presidential administration has come up with a plan to form a new ruling party. This liberal structure should become a counterbalance to United Russia and Rodina.
A member of the State Duma staff speaking on condition of anonymity has told Novye Izvestia that the presidential administration has almost completed preparations for the formation of the new pro-Kremlin party. Moreover, according to some sources, the party already has offices in 57 regions of the country. The need for this new force was above all prompted by the falling ratings of United Russia.
A source in the presidential administration in turn confirmed that the new structure would play the role of a liberal force.
According to analysts, the new project does not seek to replace United Russia but is meant to become its liberal complement against the general political background and deprive the West and domestic opposition of reason to criticize the authorities for a lack of freedom.
The current party system now has a sore, says Alexei Makarkin, the deputy head of the Center of Political Technologies. On the one hand, there is the bureaucratic party of the parliamentary majority, and, on the other, its patriotic clone in the form of Rodina. "This is why the new liberal party will include liberal ministers," Mr. Makarkin says. According to him, depending on the situation, United Russia could vote with the pro-Kremlin liberal party (when the issue concerns WTO accession or prospects of EU membership) or with Rodina (when terrorism or xenophobia are under discussion).
According to initial reports, the main actors in the new structure may be government officials - Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and Audit Chamber Chairman Sergei Stepashin. According to some experts, more information will become known about the new party in two weeks.