Ryzhkov Quits RPR-Parnas Opposition Party
Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1797)
Aáleader ofáRussiaĺs main liberal opposition party, RPR-Parnas, quit over theáweekend with aágroup ofásenior supporters ináa move that some say could be beneficial toáthe Kremlin andálead toáthe partyĺs dismissal.
Vladimir Ryzhkov handed his membership cancellation letter toáthe other two party co-chairmen, Boris Nemtsov andáMikhail Kasyanov, atáa meeting ofáthe partyĺs federal council onáFeb. 8, andáabout 15 members ofáthe political council followed him, media reports said.
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Ryzhkovĺs move came after aástandoff with Nemtsov andáKasyanov that lasted several months over their reluctance toánegotiate with theáKremlin andátheir support ofáopposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is known foráhis links toánationalists.
Ryzhkov resigned after Nemtsov andáKasyanov decided toádismiss him as theápartyĺs official representative to the authorities andáapply sanctions toánine party members forácriticism ofáNemtsovĺs andáKasyanovĺs vehement opposition toácooperating with authorities.
ôThis was aádeclaration ofáwar, aácrackdown onáme andámy supporters, there was no point inátolerating it anymore,ö Ryzhkov told Vedomosti ináa story published Feb. 8.
Nemtsov told journalists on Feb. 8 that theáKremlin was ôdefinitely aábeneficiary ináthe whole storyö but said Ryzhkov was ônot anáinstrument ináthe hands ofáthe authorities forádestroying RPR-Parnas,ö Kommersant reported.
Nemtsov andáKasyanov fear that aánumber ofáthe partyĺs regional branches may withdraw their membership following Ryzhkovĺs departure.
ôAn apocalyptic scenario does exist: If too many regional branches leave theáparty, we may just as well liquidate it,ö Nemtsov said.
Kasyanov told journalists onáSaturday that theáparty cannot hold on to its members byáforce. á
ôIf someone wants toágo after Ryzhkov, they can do it,ö he said, Interfax reported.
Calls toáthe cell phones ofáRyzhkov, Nemtsov andáKasyanov onáSunday went unanswered.
Political analysts onáSunday seemed toáshrug off theásignificance ofáRyzhkovĺs departure, dismissing Nemtsovĺs statement that theáKremlin might benefit fromáthe rift ináRPR-Parnas andánoting that theápartyĺs role inápolitics was aáminor one.
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