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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mitrofanov Abandons LDPR To Join A Just Russia's Ranks

VedomostiAlexei Mitrofanov
The No. 2 man in the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, flamboyant State Duma Deputy Alexei Mitrofanov, announced Wednesday that he was switching to the No. 2 pro-Kremlin party, A Just Russia.

"The leaders of the Communists, the LDPR, the Union of Right Forces and Yabloko should all shift to A Just Russia now. Then this conglomeration of disparate people would be able to oppose United Russia," Mitrofanov told Ekho Moskvy radio, referring to the main pro-presidential party.

Saying that not a single budget amendment or piece of legislation offered by opposition parties had been adopted by the United Russia dominated Duma in the last four years, Mitrofanov called for the rapid creation of a two-party system.

Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov, the leader of A Just Russia, welcomed the move, telling journalists that Mitrofanov would be on his party's list for December's Duma elections.

LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said Mitrofanov's departure would actually improve his party's image, Itar-Tass reported.

An avid partygoer who wrote, produced and financed an erotic film starring look-alikes of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Ukrainian opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko, Mitrofanov is also known for his strident nationalist comments.

A Just Russia was created last year as a socialist-leaning alternative to United Russia. Its support among the electorate grew from 5 percent in January to 9 percent in August, according to the Levada Center.

Over the same period, the LDPR's popularity fell from 11 percent to 7 percent, the minimum threshold for gaining seats in the Duma.