As expected, the Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) and two smaller parties over the weekend formed a Kremlin-friendly political coalition called Right Cause (Pravoye delo). Many SPS figures, most notably Leonid Gozman, made the decision to cooperate with the Kremlin in order to bring about incremental change.
The question of whether the political system of Vladimir Putin is at all open to prompting from the new rightist bloc remains open. But SPS activist Maria Gaidar, daughter of former acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, asks a brilliantly pertinent question in an interview yesterday with RFE/RL's Russian Service, a question that pokes through the Kremlin's pretense of sincerity on this issue. Gozman himself acknowledges that the SPS was the subject of a "massive attack" by the authorities during the last election, an attack that left the party a mere "club."
Expressing skepticism about the new rightist party, Gaidar says: "The SPS was not a corpse. The SPS was a living party, a party with a history. Why did the Kremlin destroy it?"
Right Cause's leaders should come up with an answer for that one.
-- Robert Coalson