Union of Right Forces explained

Party Name:Union of Right Forces
Leader:Nikita Belykh
Colorcode:lightblue
Foundation:1999
Dissolution:2008
Ideology:Liberalism
Economic liberalism
Liberal conservatism
Headquarters:Moscow
International:International Democrat Union
Website:www.SPS.ru

The Union of Right Forces, or SPS (

Сою́з Пра́вых Сил, СПС>/Soyuz Pravykh Sil), was a Russian democratic opposition party associated with free market reforms, privatization, and the legacy of the 'Young Reformers' of the 1990s: Anatoly Chubais, Boris Nemtsov, and Yegor Gaidar. Nikita Belykh is the party's leader. The Party is considered by most western media organs such as The Economist and the BBC to be one of the few Russian parties that support western-style capitalism, socio-politically the party is more conservative. Its headquarters are located in Moscow. It is affiliated with the International Democrat Union.

The Union of Right Forces was established in 1999, following a merger of several smaller liberal parties, including Democratic Choice of Russia and Democratic Russia. In the 1999 parliamentary elections the Union of Right Forces won 8.6% of the vote and 32 seats in the Russian State Duma (lower house of Parliament).

From 2000 to 2003 the Union of Right Forces was led by former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov. Under Nemtsov's leadership SPS strongly opposed what they saw to be the authoritarian policies of President Vladimir Putin and argued that political and media freedoms in Russia had been curtailed.

In the 2003 parliamentary elections the Union of Right Forces, according to official results, received 4% of the vote and failed to cross the 5% threshold necessary for parliamentary representation. A number of SPS candidates came second in single-mandate electoral districts the party had previously held, such as Irina Khakamada in St. Petersburg, Vladimir V. Kara-Murza in Moscow, or Boris Nadezhdin in the Moscow region.

Despite allegations of fraud, Boris Nemtsov accepted responsibility for the election defeat and resigned as SPS leader in January 2004. On May 28, 2005 Nikita Belykh was elected as the new leader of the party.

Plans to merge with Yabloko were shelved in late 2006.[1]

The party won 0.96% of votes in the 2007 elections, not breaking the 7% barrier, and thus no seats in the Duma.

In 2008 Nikita Belyh left his chair to Leonid Goizman. On October 1, 2008, Federal political council of the party voted to dissolve the party, with an eye on possible merger with Civilian Power and Democratic Party of Russia to form a new liberal-democrat party called Right Cause. [2] It is also expected to discuss if Yabloko party may join this new coalition.

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Notes and References

  1. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20061216/57026260.html Russian liberal SPS, Yabloko parties give up unification plans
  2. http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?DocsID=1034766 SPS Party Announced Dissolution