Party over - Prokhorov wants allies to abandon Right Cause
On the second day of the Right Cause convention in Moscow, its recently-elected leader, Mikhail Prokhorov, said that the party had discredited itself and then called on his allies to quit and form a new party.“The convention has been falsified. From the formal point of view it is difficult to take the case to court. I have a different suggestion – to refuse to participate in this party. The reason is clear –Right Causehas discredited itself. This is not the party our supporters voted for,” Prokhorov said before the convention opened its second session on Thursday.“After this we will calmly – and I will talk to the country’s leaders – build a public movement from the ground up and then we will work on the political party,” Prokhorov said.Prokhorov was addressing the official convention that gathered in the Academy of Sciences building in Moscow, as an opposing faction within Right Cause gathered for an alternative congress in the International Trade Center. Their leader, the head of the Russian freemasons, Andrey Bogdanov, who was expelled from the party by Prokhorov on Wednesday, told journalists that the alternative congress would change the party’s charter and decide on a new party leader.Also, Andrey Bogdanov told reporters that he was acting on his own when he convened the alternative convention and not on orders from above. “I organized all this and I am not a clerk from the presidential administration,” Interfax news agency quoted Bogdanov as saying. “How can they give me orders? I do not work in power structures and I have no business, like Prokhorov does, to be afraid of anything,” Bogdanov said.Soon after the alternative congress led by Prokhorov’s opponents opened, news agencies reported that it had voted for the billionaire’s dismissal as leader of Right Cause. The head of the protocol commission said that 73 of 75 delegates voted in favor of the decision.Also on Thursday, Yevgeniy Roizman, a controversial public figure who had received a personal invitation from the billionaire to join the party, told the press he was resigning and so was Prokhorov himself. Earlier, members of Right Cause said the main conflict in the party was over Roizman’s presence on the federal election list. Prokhorov said at the time that if Roizman was forced to leave, he would also quit the party. Roizman claimed in his blog that officials from the Kremlin opposed the campaign against him.Speaking at a press conference after the convention, Mikhail Prokhorov said he was not going to quit politics, but that his participation in December’s parliamentary elections was now out of question. He also said that he intended to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. “First of all, I want to meet the president and the prime minister, inform them about what happened in the party, how it happened and show them the necessary documents,” Prokhorov said. Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday afternoon that the Russian prime minister knew about the situation in the Right Сause but the meeting with Prokhorov was not on Putin’s schedule. Dmitry Medvedev’s office issued no comments on the situation as of Thursday evening.Prokhorov also said that he was going to create a new public movement and promised to tell journalists about it in seven to ten days’ time. A member of the Central Elections Committee, Maya Grishina, told the RIA Novosti news agency that Prokhorov’s new movement would not be eligible to take part in the forthcoming presidential elections. “Only political parties can participate in elections. The list of political parties has already been made,” Grishina said.