Party of Russian Unity and Accord
PARTY OF RUSSIAN UNITY AND ACCORD
The Party of Russian Unity and Accord (Partiya Rossiyskogo Yedinstva i Soglasiya, or PRES) was founded for the 1993 elections as a regional variant of the ruling party. Its founder, a visible politician of the early Boris Yeltsin period, deputy prime minister Sergei Shakhrai, was at the time the head of the State Committee on Federal and Nationalist Issues, whose apparatus was used in the provinces as a base for party construction. Even the constituent assembly of the PRES in October 1993 took place not in Moscow but in Novgorod. The party proclaimed as its goal the preservation of Russia's unity through securing equal rights of the subjects of the Russian Federation. The PRES list at the 1993 elections was headed by Shakhrai; Alexander Shokhin, deputy prime minister and an economist; and Konstantin Zatulin, chair of the association Entrepreneurs for a New Russia. Two federal ministers were included on it as well: Yuri Kalmykov and Gennady Melikian, and also the future public figures Valery Kirpichnikov (minister of regional politics in 1998–1999), Vladimir Tumanov (chair of the Constitutional Court in 1995–1996), and others. The list received 3.6 million votes (6.7%, seventh place), mainly in the national republics, and eighteen mandates; four PRES candidates in single-mandate districts were elected. The PRES fraction started out with thirty Duma delegates and ended with twelve, due to disagreement over the Chechnya question as well as interfractional maneuvering. During the 1995 campaign, PRES first joined with Our Home Is Russia (NDR), but then made its own list with Shakhrai at the head and registered twenty-three candidates in the districts. However, Shakhrai's political stardom was already on the decline, and when he left the State Committee on Federal and Nationalist Issues, he lost his base in the provinces. The list received 246,000 votes (0.4%), and in the majority districts only Shakhrai won, joining with the group Russian Regions. In the 1999 elections, the PRES did not participate independently. Shakhrai, joining with Yuri Luzhkov, was included in the original version of the Fatherland—All Russia (OVR) list, but excluded at the bloc's congress. In May 2000 the PRES merged into Unity when the latter was restructured from a movement into a party.
See also: shakhrai, sergei mikhailovich; unity (medved) party
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