Russia’s Right Cause party looks beyond top ministers for leader

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s pro-Kremlin Right Cause party said on Friday it was casting its net wider in the search for a leader after being turned down by Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

Party leader Boris Nadezhdin said cabinet members and deputy prime ministers were no longer under consideration but that other “well known and influential people” were.

Right Cause co-chair Leonid Gozman said earlier the party was seeking a federal official to lead the party in December’s parliamentary elections, mentioning Kudrin and Shuvalov, as well as presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich.

Kudrin said on Thursday he had no plans to trade his cabinet position for a party post.

The Right Cause was founded in late 2008 as a merger of the liberal Union of Rightist Forces, Civic Power, and the Democratic Party of Russia and is widely seen as a Kremlin project to create a semblance of a multi-party political system in Russia.

Experts say the party may be preparing to back current President Dmitry Medvedev for re-election in the 2012 presidential elections.

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