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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nemtsov Could Take Over For Kiriyenko as SPS Chief

With Sergei Kiriyenko appointed a presidential representative in one of seven newly created federal districts, the post of the head of the Union of Right Forces faction in the State Duma has become vacant.

This opens the way for the other two leaders of the faction, known as SPS, to be promoted.

Boris Nemtsov, currently Duma deputy speaker, is likely to be named the new head of SPS, Pavel Krasheninnikov, SPS deputy and head of the Duma legislation committee, was quoted by Interfax as saying Friday.

Nemtsov, formerly a deputy prime minister, was elected to the Duma in December as the No. 2 candidate on the SPS party list. The faction did surprisingly well, finishing ahead of the liberal Yabloko party, and it has 31 seats.

Krasheninnikov also said Irina Khakamada may be promoted to the post of deputy speaker, if her candidacy is approved by the Duma.

The decision on the new faction head was to be made Saturday, when SPS members are to hold a congress. They are to upgrade the group's legal status from "movement" to "organization."

SPS was not the only political movement expecting a reshuffling.

Pro-Kremlin Unity, which boasts the second-largest faction in the Duma, also was to hold a congress next week. Unity, now an "organization," plans to turn itself into a "party." Unity supported Vladimir Putin in the presidential elections and has expressed a desire for him to head the party.

Several other political groups have shown a willingness to join up with Unity.

Interfax quoted a source in the Duma as saying consultations are being held among Unity leader Sergei Shoigu, Fatherland-All Russia leader Yevgeny Primakov and Our Home Is Russia leader Viktor Chernomyrdin.

Oleg Morozov said his Russia's Regions group planned to attend the congress "in order to unite" with Unity, Interfax said.