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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kasyanov Announces Movement

ReutersFormer Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, silhouetted against a window, speaking at a news conference Monday.
Former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on Monday announced the creation of a liberal political and social movement after his previous attempt to take the helm of an opposition party failed.

Participants in the congress of the Democratic Party of Russia late last year had expected to elect Kasyanov as their leader, but a large group of delegates refused to let Kasyanov and his allies into the venue and elected a virtually unknown candidate.

Kasyanov said his new movement would include liberal politicians Irina Khakamada and Ivan Starikov, and that he hoped to have 100,000 members within a year. Two funds for supporting the movement's work had already been formed from donations, he said.

"Twenty-four months remain until a change of power in Russia," Kasyanov told reporters, referring to the next presidential election, scheduled for March 2008.

"In the next month or two, my supporters and I will create a new social movement to continue the fight to protect the basis and the spirit of the Constitution, to enable our country to develop as a democratic, social state," Kasyanov said.

The movement will hold a congress within six weeks to decide on a name among other things, Kasyanov said.

Fired by President Vladimir Putin in 2004 after serving as prime minister for most of his first term, Kasyanov has emerged as a harsh critic, accusing Putin of dissolving the country's post-Soviet democratic gains. He has announced his intention to run in the 2008 election.