Union of Right Forces
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Russian Wikipedia. (February 2009)|
|Union of Right Forces|
|Leader||Boris Nemtsov (1999–2004)
Nikita Belykh (2005–2008)
Leonid Gozman (acting in 2008 until dissolution)
Leonid Gozman (2011-present)
2011 (as a political public organization)
|Merger of||Democratic Choice of Russia,
New force (Sergey Kiriyenko),
Young Russia (Boris Nemtsov),
Common cause (Irina Khakamada),
Voice of Russia (Konstantin Titov)
|Preceded by||Right Cause (1998-2000 electoral bloc)|
|Merged into||party Right Cause,
|Succeeded by||Right Cause,
People's Freedom Party
|International affiliation||International Democrat Union|
The Union of Right Forces political party, or SPS (Russian: Сою́з Пра́вых Сил, СПС/Soyuz Pravykh Sil), is a Russian neoliberal political public organization and formerly party initially founded as an electoral bloc in 1999 and associated with free market reforms, privatization, and the legacy of the "young reformers" of the 1990s: Anatoly Chubais, Boris Nemtsov, and Yegor Gaidar. The party was officially self-dissolved in 2008. Nikita Belykh was the party's last leader in 2005-2008.
Since 2011 the Union of Right Forces has been registered as a political public organization, not a political party. It is a member of the International Democrat Union. Leonid Gozman is currently the public organisation's leader. Political public organisations don't have political party status in the Justice Ministry's list and don't have a right to participate in any elections, according to the Russian law.
The Party is considered by Western media organs The Economist and the BBC to be one of the few Russian parties that support Western-style capitalism, socio-politically the party is more conservative. Its headquarters are located in Moscow. It is affiliated with the International Democrat Union.
The Union of Right Forces was established in 1999, following a merger of several smaller liberal parties, including Democratic Choice of Russia and Democratic Russia. In the 1999 parliamentary elections the Union of Right Forces won 8.6% of the vote and 32 seats in the Russian State Duma (lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia).
From 2000 to 2003 the Union of Right Forces was led by former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov. Under Nemtsov's leadership SPS strongly opposed what they saw to be the authoritarian policies of President Vladimir Putin and argued that political and media freedoms in Russia had been curtailed.
In the 2000 presidential election, the SPS supported Vladimir Putin's candidacy, though many of the party leaders supported Grigory Yavlinsky.
In the 2003 parliamentary elections the Union of Right Forces, according to official results, received 4% of the vote and failed to cross the 5% threshold necessary for parliamentary representation. A number of SPS candidates came second in single-mandate electoral districts the party had previously held, such as Irina Khakamada in St. Petersburg, Vladimir V. Kara-Murza in Moscow, or Boris Nadezhdin in the Moscow region.
Despite allegations of fraud, Boris Nemtsov accepted responsibility for the election defeat and resigned as SPS leader in January 2004. On 28 May 2005 Nikita Belykh was elected as the new leader of the party.
In 2008, Nikita Belyh left his chair to Leonid Goizman. On 1 October 2008, Federal political council of the party voted to dissolve the party to merge it with Civilian Power and Democratic Party of Russia and form a new liberal-democratic party called Right Cause.
In 2011, Right Cause was suspended by the International Democrat Union, and the re-founded SPS was made a member.