Khakamada is establishing a new political party, Malyshkin (see the photo) is working as a bodyguard, Rybkin disappeared again.
Two weeks ago all candidates for presidential elections in Russia (except for Vladimir Putin) disappeared from TV and newspapers after the news of the absolute victory of Vladimir Putin at the elections. Earlier, media stopped covering the leaders of the political parties who had lost the elections and had not gained seats in the State Duma. Nevertheless, some newspapers are tracing the careers of the unlucky politicians who will hardly return in politics.
Irina Khakamada made up her mind about her future. The only female presidential candidate decided to establish a new party. On March 24 Ms. Khakamada informed the media on her resigning from SPS party. She decided to construct the new party called Svobodnaya Rossiya (Free Russia) on the remains of liberal parties which lost the last Parliamentary elections. Irina Khakamada became disappointed with SPS, she says this party became pro-presidential, while Irina Khakamada is pursuing the policy of opposing the authorities. There are plans to establish 46 branches of the party in the regions of Russia in 2004.
Irina Khakamada is hoping on the financial assistance of the sponsors of her presidential campaign, first of all YUKOS shareholder Leonid Nevzlin. He said he would support the project to contribute to building democracy in Russia.
AiF newspaper questions the ability of Ms. Khakamada to establish a political party, “she was unable to become the only candidate of rightist parties and failed to achieve the result SPS and Yabloko parties jointly gained at the Parliamentary elections (8.3 percent)”. (3.85 percent of voters supported Irina Khakamada).
Presidential candidate from Communist Party Nikolai Kharitonov is still in politics, he continues working as a deputy of Russian Parliament. However, it is hard to say where he would be in future: left parties are reconstructing themselves. Several days ago Mr. Kharitonov said in Novosibirsk that he had received the offer to become the Head of Russian Agrarian Party (supporting farmers). He has not made up his mind on this yet.
Agrarian Party gained 3.64 percent of votes at the Parliamentary elections and made public its decision to stop opposing the authorities and replace party leader Mikhail Lapshin (the politician who has been the party Head for 10 years) by “manager”.
Sergey Glaziev decided to abandon politics after his failure at the presidential elections. Mr. Glaziev says that after being dismissed from the post of the Duma Fraction Head, he does not show up in the Duma and even has no office there. “There is one politician making decisions in our country”, Glaziev said in a RIA interview. “All the rest are implementing his decisions and imitate their own political activity”. For this reason participation in public policy makes no sense to Mr. Glaziev. He decided to return to scientific work (Mr. Glaziev is Doctor of Economy). Yet, Sergey Glaziev hopes that at one point “Rodina” Duma Fraction would realize that it was not right to dismiss Glaziev, and he will be able to return to the Parliament. He is still going to submit to the State Duma the bills he promised to his voters. AiF summarizes the political activity of Sergey Glaziev, “His name was used for promoting Rodina party to the Parliament, then he was dismissed both from the party and its Parliament Fraction. Today Mr. Glaziev has gone into hiding, but he can gain some success in the elections of 2007-2008”.
Former presidential candidate, Head of the Federation Union (upper chamber of Russian Parliament) Sergey Mironov got back to his work in the Parliament. By the way, his election campaign was the most expensive: one vote cost Mironov 90 roubles (about $3). “Mironov demonstrated the worst result - 0.76 of voters supported him, but this did not undermine the cheerful outlook of the leader of Russia Party of Life”, AiF wrote.
AiF reporters believe that the worst result at the presidential elections may finish political career of Sergey Mironov.
There is little information about presidential candidate, bodyguard of LDPR party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Oleg Malyshkin. There are rumors that he is going back to work as Zhirinovsky’s bodyguard, but at lower rank – he will be first deputy chief bodyguard, not chief bodyguard as before. Podmoskovie-Nedelya wrote that Vladimir Zhirinovsky probably disliked that Mr. Malyshkin demonstrated his independence from the LDPR leader during the campaign.
Ivan Rybkin after his failure at the elections because of his unusual trip around the globe, is likely to quit politics as well. “I’ll travel around Russia”, Mr. Rybkin said at his final press conference, and left. Today nobody knows his location. AiF wrote that Rybkin had never been an independent political figure, and had been just a tool in the hands of Russian oligarch in London Boris Berezovsky. “Rybkin was unable to play this role, he psychic was too weak, he quit and lost the remains of his reputation”.
Some former perspective politicians are enjoying a good life. SPS leader Boris Nemtsov received several posts in business. Being on the Board of “Neftyanoi” Oil Concern, he accepted the offer to become the advisor on strategic development for the President of Rostic Group and the member of the Board in this corporation. Rostic Group has turnover of $200 million and operates 134 restaurants in the former USSR and Europe, along with working in the spheres of real estate, advertising, tourism.
However, Boris Nemtsov is not going to abandon politics. He is a member of “Club-2008” along with several other well-known public figures. The key purpose of the club is organization of free elections of Russian President in 2008. The club positions itself as an alternative political force, opponent to Vladimir Putin.
Former SPS leaders are pursuing different ways. Egor Gaidar abandoned politics and concentrated on his work as director of Institute of Transitional Economics (the Institute provides expert analysis).
All the other former SPS leaders are more or less close to Anatoly Chubais. This means that SPS has no arguments between its members and is searching for the new leader. In any case, Anatoly Chubais will preserve his dominating position in SPS.
The future of Yabloko party and its leader Grigory Yavlinsky is uncertain. There is little information about this party after it lost the Parliamentary elections. Mr. Yavlinsky concentrated on writing books on Russian economy. In February he had a presentation of his latest book “Periphery Capitalism” criticizing the “authoritarian model of modernization”. Mr. Yavlinsky says that he is going to summarize all his previous research of Russian economy in the new book.
His former colleagues from Yabloko party Sergey Popov, Mikhail Zadornov and Galina Khovanskaya are going to establish some group in the State Duma to “define common position on issues of politics and economics by interacting with people in the government and other parties who has liberal outlook”. This group can try to create a new political party.
The fact that such strong political figure Mikhail Zadornov is speaking about establishing a new party, means that Yabloko may collapse before the next Parliamentary elections in 2007, say the experts of Politcom.ru resource. Many prominent members of Yabloko go to work in executive power: Vladimir Lukin became the authorized presidential representative on human rights, Igor Artemiev was appointed the Head of Anti-Monopoly Service.
Summing up, one can say that new politicians are emerging in Russia to replace the previous ones. Some of the former politicians became disappointed about politics, others had to quit politics and work in different spheres. People who were not previously known as politicians may become the new party leaders in Russia.