Nikolai Ryzhkov, former prime minister of the USSR, will form a faction in the new Duma called Narodovlastie (Popular Power). (10) Ryzhkov expects to gather 38 members — three more than the minimum 35 required for an officially registered faction. Joining Ryzhkov will be Russian nationalist leader Sergei Baburin. Stanislav Govorukhin, another nationalist figure, is also expected to join the faction. The communists view Ryzhkov and his great-power associates as their natural allies. The fact that they have not joined the communist faction should not be seen as split within the opposition. Registering a parliamentary faction brings numerous advantages, such as office space and guaranteed rights to address Duma sessions. Thus the more factions a political wing can form, the better.
Regarding other parties in the Duma, the Agrarian Party has managed to create a faction of 39 members under the leadership of Nikolai Kharitonov. Reformist deputies to the Duma are divided and have so far mustered only one faction, that of Yabloko. However, deputy speaker of the outgoing Duma Arthur Chilingarov and Sergei Yushenkov of Russia’s Democratic Choice are actively trying to put together a faction of independents.
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