MOSCOW, August 4 (Itar-Tass) — A scandal has broken out in the Right Cause party. Party leader, billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov has dissolved it regional office in St. Petersburg, stripping 1,334 people of membership. He has also claims to leader of the party’s Moscow region branch Boris Nadezhdin. Prokhorov’s colleagues in the liberal camp believe that the conflicts will be repeated if the entrepreneur fails to understand that “a party cannot be managed as a business entity.”
“The reason for the dissolution of the old activists – the existence of internal differences that hinder productive work of the regional cell during the election period. People who joined the office recently, that is after the election of Mikhail Prokhorov to the post of the party head, will be readmitted to the party after the election of the political council,” the party’s press secretary Alexei Urazov told RBC Daily. According to him, a new compact “anti-crisis” political council of five- seven people will be called soon.
There has been conflict between two groups in the St. Petersburg branch since 1999, when several democratic parties united in the Union of Right Forces (SPS), writes Kommersant. The conflict aggravated to the limit this June when leader of St. Petersburg branch of the party Sergei Tsybukov was ousted before the Party Congress. Tsybukov’s supporters thought it was a provocation. As a result, the split cell turned to federal political council for assistance in resolving the conflict. Mikhail Prokhorov settled the conflict by excluding from the party all its members from St. Petersburg and introducing a new practice that is currently being applied in an express mode.
Claims to Boris Nadezhdin arose because of his interview with a Russian newspaper in which he said that he had already held several roundtables with the participation of nationalists with an eye to coming to grips with the “Russian question” in the RF capital area. Mikhail Prokhorov reacted violently to this, writing in his Internet blog: “I declare maximally categorically: there have been no place in our party for people who share nationalistic views and will never be. As for Boris Nadezhdin, if it is his personal conscious position, there is no place for him in the party.”
Nadezhdin explained to the publication that the inclusion of nationalists in the party election lists was not at issue at all, he only said, according to the census, the population in the Moscow region over the past decade has increased by 400,000 by newcomers. Therefore, “an expert council on migration” was created at the regional branch of the party last weekend, and some members of the “Russian March,” among others, have been invited to work with it. “They just reported to the party leader that I have admitted fascists and skinheads to the party,” Boris Nadezhdin said. “I told Prokhorov that I’m a liberal and I’m not going to do “Russia for Russian,” but I cannot evade a discussion of this issue.”
“Prokhorov manages the party as a business entity,” the publication quotes former SPS leader Boris Nemtsov. “A political organization may lose effectiveness with such management, because business is made by money, and a party is based on the trust of people, including within the party itself, as trust cannot be bought with money.” And if Mikhail Prokhorov does not change his management principles, conflicts inside the Right Cause will be only multiplying and bursting out, Nemtsov said.