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Russian Opposition MP Names Date For Launch Of New Social Democratic Movement
Interfax - 4.16.12 - JRL 2012-71

Moscow, 16 April: The creation of a new political organization of social democrats will be officially announced in Moscow on 24 April, Gennadiy Gudkov, State Duma deputy from the A Just Russia party, who is on the new group's organizing committee, has told Interfax.

"At a session of our organizing committee, we took the final decision to hold a founding conference on 24 April in what was once the Museum of the Revolution, and is now the Museum of Modern Art, on Red Square (as received)," Gudkov explained.

He noted that the conference will decide on a name for the new group. "The following working titles are being discussed: 'The public-political organization "The Russian Social Democratic Union"' and 'The All-Russian social democratic movement "Left Alliance"'," Gudkov explained.

He noted that the the new political group's leadership will be formed at the conference. "The leadership will be collegiate, but electing an executive secretary on a rotating basis for a defined period has not been ruled out," he said.

Gudkov noted that during the conference there are plans to adopt recommendations to the two main opposition parties, the CPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) and A Just Russia. "In this document we will set out our vision of the need for these parties to be reformed and modernized, so that in future they can become the basis for a united left social democratic party," Gudkov noted.

He also said that programmatic principles will be adopted at the conference in the form of a declaration or manifesto. In the near future, Gudkov said, the new public group plans to conduct a series of practical and research conferences. "In the course of these events, we plan to work out a common position in terms of our attitude towards the problems of privatization, the depth and acceptability of the scale of nationalization, and also the role and functions of the state in the economic policy being pursued in our country," Gudkov explained.

He explained that invitations to take part in the founding conference as guests-of-honour have been sent to CPRF leader Gennadiy Zyuganov, A Just Russia leader Sergey Mironov, Yabloko's Grigoriy Yavlinskiy and Sergey Mitrokhin, the co-founder of the unregistered People's Freedom Party, Vladimir Ryzhkov, and others.

"We are hoping they will accept our invitation and speak at the conference," Gudkov said.

He said that the organizing committee of the new group also includes Sergey Udaltsov, Ilya Ponomarev, Yelena Lukyanova, Mikhail Delyagin, writer Mikhail Veller and other well-known politicians and experts.

Gudkov aded that the organizing committee includes Oleg Shein, but, because of his lengthy hunger strike in Astrakhan, at present it is difficult to say whether he will be able to take part in this event.

(Passage omitted: ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called for the revival of a social democratic party in Russia back in February.)

Keywords: Russia, Government, Politics -