Russian opposition forms new party, solicits Gorbachev

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Four Russian opposition leaders unveiled a new political party on Monday, and said they were trying to persuade former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to join, RIA Novosti reported.

The Party of People's Liberty, which was first mooted in September, will take part in next year's parliamentary elections and the 2012 presidential poll, the news agency reported.

"Negotiations concerning the membership of Gorbachev are ongoing," one of the party's leaders, Vladimir Ryzhkov, was quoted as saying.

The party was formed by an alliance of long-time Kremlin foes Ryzhkov, Boris Nemstov and Vladimir Milov, as well as former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov, the report said.

The 79-year-old Gorbachev, the father of the Soviet Union's perestroika, does not play a major role in modern Russian politics but has criticised Prime Minister and former president Vladimir Putin over corruption and economic policies.

© 2010 AFP

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