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Ex-Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov (AFP)
6 December 2005 -- Former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, who today became the head of the Democratic Party of Russia, says he has begun talks with other liberal parties with the aim of creating a broad democratic coalition.
Kasyanov said the 4 December Moscow City Duma elections, in which the pro-Kremlin Unified Russia party won a sweeping majority, showed the profound weakness of Russia's democratic forces.
The former premier said he had spoken to representatives from liberal parties such as Yabloko, the Union of Rightist Forces, Our Choice, and a number of local parties.
Yabloko and the Union of Rightist Forces said last week that they were considering forming a united democratic party. Officials from the two parties are due to hold a joint press conference on 6 December about the prospects for political partnership between them.