Other Russia Calls for 2nd Parliament

ReutersGarry Kasparov, left, and Eduard Limonov speaking with reporters about an alternative parliament Wednesday.
Opposition coalition The Other Russia on Wednesday proposed creating an alternative parliament that would unite opposition groups across the political spectrum.

The alternative parliament, tentatively titled the National Assembly, would consist of 500 to 600 members, including activists from liberal opposition parties and groups, such as Yabloko, the Union of Right Forces and Mikhail Kasyanov's Russian People's Democratic Union, opposition leader Garry Kasparov told a news conference.

"In a situation where acting political institutions in the country have been practically eliminated, a platform is needed where our country's agenda can be discussed," Kasparov said.

The group's inaugural session could be held before the summer and would focus on finding solutions to pressing national problems, including corruption, social inequality and the results of privatizations in the 1990s, Kasparov said.

Opposition groups will hold a conference April 5 to 6 in St. Petersburg to hammer out the details on the composition of the assembly and its activities, Kasparov said.

Union of Right Forces head Nikita Belykh said his involvement in the alternative parliament would depend on the results of the St. Petersburg conference, in which he will participate.

Spokespeople for Kasyanov and Yabloko head Grigory Yavlinsky could not confirm whether the two would participate in the St. Petersburg conference or the alternative parliament. Sergei Udaltsov, head of the leftist opposition group Red Youth Vanguard, said his supporters would participate in the National Assembly if they could agree with other opposition groups on how the assembly's members will be elected.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov curtly declined to comment on the creation of an alternative parliament.

n The Other Russia plans to hold Dissenters' Marches in Moscow and St. Petersburg in early May to protest the inauguration of President-elect Dmitry Medvedev, Kasparov said Wednesday.