SPS Weighs Naming Party 'Right Cause'

The new Kremlin-backed, pro-business party may be called Pravoye Delo, or Right Cause, the party's founders said Monday.

The new party, to be formally created next month, is widely seen as a Kremlin move to round out the official political spectrum with parties loyal to the ruling elite. It is to be based on the remnants of the liberal Union of Right Forces, or SPS, the Democratic Party and Civil Force.

Boris Titov, head of the business association Delovaya Rossia and one of the leaders of the project, said the proposed name was fitting for the new party. "It really is the 'right cause,'" Titov said. "'Cause' is also an important word, because it implies real action."

Acting SPS head Leonid Gozman said Right Cause had made the shortlist for possible names, though he declined to disclose other options being considered. "We are satisfied with [Right Cause]," Gozman said.

SPS, which was founded in 2001 by officials who once held senior government posts under the presidency of the late Boris Yeltsin, is set to formally disband on Nov. 15, a day before the new pro-business party is to be founded.

Rather than cooperate with the new party, at least 10 regional SPS branches have opted to join a new liberal opposition movement to be co-founded by former SPS leader Nikita Belykh, said Denis Bilunov, a co-founder of the movement and close associate of opposition activist and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

Belykh resigned from SPS last month, saying cooperation with the Kremlin was unacceptable.

Gozman denied Bilunov's claim. Only the Moscow branch of SPS was against joining the new party, while the Tver regional branch was undecided, he said.

The new party's draft charter contains several "key points" of the SPS charter, Gozman said. Its platform should reflect the "common priorities" of its founders, namely "a democratic path" in Russia's economic and political development, he said.

Along with Titov and Gozman, political commentator and radio talk show host Georgy Bovt, who writes a column for The Moscow Times, is to be one of new party's leaders.