The PARNAS Party

Russian Political Party posted November 7, 2016
Motto: "For Russia without Lawlessness or Corruption"

The People's Freedom Party (Parnas), previously the Republican Party of Russia - the People's Freedom Party (RPR-Parnas) - officially registered as the Russian center-right political party.

The party was established in November 1990, on the basis of the "Democratic Platform" movement whose representatives left the Party because of disagreements with the majority in the XXVIII Congress. In March 14, 1991 the Ministry of Justice registered the association called the Republican Party of Russia (RPR), which became one of Russian three main parties. The party was represented in the State Duma in 4 convocations (in coalitions and blocs). In the 2000s, by teaming up with a number of organizations RPR has increased its strength, forming part of "The Other Russia" coalition and participating in the "March of Dissent". In 2007, the party was deregistered. In 2010, the RPR entered into a coalition "For Russia without Lawlessness or Corruption" (later - the PARNAS party). In 2013, the party became a full member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

In 2011, the ECHR was illegally barred from registering, and on May 5, 2012 the Russian Federation Ministry of Justice renewed state registration of the former party. Parnas activists then entered the Republican Party and on June 16 at the 15th Congress of the United Opposition Party, RPR was renamed "RPR-Parnas". On August 2, the Ministry of Justice issued a certificate with the new name, the new charter and the party program officially coming into force. "RPR-Parnas" is actually the People's Freedom Party, and is legally known as RPR. There was no constitutional congress for the creation of a new party, and "RPR" and "RPR-PARNAS" are the same party with the same registration number. The decision was made on July 5, 2015 at the party congress to reduce the name to "PARNAS".

Management Team (2016)
The Chairman of "Parnas" - Mikhail Kasyanov (up to 2015 he was one of the Co-Chairs together with Vladimir Ryzhkov and Boris Nemtsov). The second number on the list is Vyacheslav Maltsev. The collegiate governing body is a federal political council of 45 people mainly from regional offices. The FPS Bureau elected former Co-Chairs Melnikova, Ilya Yashin, Vadim Prokhorov ("Solidarity"), Sergei Aleksashenko, Constantine Merzlikin and Alexander Berestnev. Party Executive Director - Michael Schneider.

The Party's highest governing body is the Congress, which meets at least once every four years.
The Party Chairman - Mikhail Kasyanov
Executive Director - Maria Yablonskaya
Executive Secretary - Constantine Merzlikin
The permanent collegiate governing body of the Party is the Federal Political Council.

PARNAS - the only one party whose official political program and the main requirement is to implement the resolutions of the "For Fair Elections!" rallies of December 2011. Its political declarations proclaim the priority of the rights and freedoms of citizens and stress opposition to Vladimir Putin.

Its ideology is liberalism, a little the right of Yabloko, with an emphasis on market competition, the protection of property and independent courts. The party stands for democracy, human rights, federalism with local self-governance, free and fair elections, and a modern market economy, and considers the 2011-2012 parliamentary and presidential elections to have been unfair and not free. It does not accept violence and will pursue its political goals by peaceful constitutional means.

2012, 2013, 2014 Elections
In August 13, 2012 RPR-Parnas put forward a candidate for the Governor of the Amur region. By agreement with the members of the regional branch of the party, Sergei Puzikov did not collect signatures in his support, waiting for the election committee to deny his registration and the opportunity to challenge the electoral law in the Constitutional Court of Russia, regarding as contrary to the constitution the organization of municipal filters by means of the collection of signatures and the prohibition of self-nominated candidates.

The party participated in the City Duma elections for Barnaul and Saratov Regional Dumas. In the Saratov region, PPR-Parnas went to the polls united with Yabloko (Yabloko made out its list in support of PPR-Parnas) and the Democratic Choice supporters of Mikhail Prokhorov. In the city council elections in Barnaul, RPR-Parnas put forward candidates in the districts by list. In Krasnodar and other regions, the party encouraged people to vote for Yabloko.

In Barnaul, the RPR-Parnas party got 5.44% of the votes and won one seat in the City Duma. Vladimir Ryzhkov, representatives of the LDPR, Yabloko and the Fair Russia Party asserted fraud occurred. Because of an inability to work constantly in the region, Vladimir Ryzhkov gave his mandate to Anatoly Vytoptov, the next candidate on the list and a deputy from PPR-Parnas. In one of the districts of Tuva, all 17 party candidates were denied registration and a hunger strike was declared. As a result, the party was able to gain representation in the Republic of Tuva. In the Saratov region in the summer of 2013, the branch of the party initiated continuing fraud investigations.

On June 12, 2013 after a joint "March against the Executioners", it was agreed to join efforts of the PPR-Parnas party with the "People's Alliance" for the Moscow City Duma elections held on December 5, 2014. On June 14, the official nomination of Alexei Navalny of PPR-Parnas was made. The party nomination saved him from having to collect 73,000 signatures declaring support for him, leaving only the need to overcome the municipal filter made up of 110 deputies' signatures from 110 municipalities of various districts of Moscow.

At the end of a single day of voting on September 8, Yaroslavl Oblast won 5th place for RPR-Parnas with 5.11% votes.

In autumn 2014, RPR-Parnas participated in two regional election campaigns. In the elections for deputies of the Supreme Hural (Parliament) of the second convocation in the Republic of Tuva, the party list got 2.88%, and 1.78% in the elections for deputies of the sixth convocation in the Republic of Altai. In both cases, the party did not attain any mandated deputations.

The murder of Boris Nemtsov
Late at night in Moscow on February 27, 2015 at the Bolshoi Moscow River bridge, Boris Nemtsov, Co-Chairman of the party and member of the Yaroslavl Regional Duma for the RPR-Parnas, was shot.

The murder took place on the eve of an opposition march named "Spring" of which Nemtsov had been one of the organizers and which was to have been held on March 1, 2015. On March 1, in compliance with the City of Moscow in place of the planned march a memorial march was held for Nemtsov which, according to the "White Counter" organization, was attended by over 50,000 people (according to the official police data there were 15,500 people, while according to sources of Alexei Venediktov, the "Echo of Moscow" Editor-in-Chief, there were up to 56,000 marchers).

2015 Elections
In 2015, RPR-Parnas signed an agreement for the establishment of a democratic coalition with the "Party of Progress" and "Democratic Choice" and put forward lists of candidates in four areas - Kaluga, Kostroma, Magadan, Novosibirsk. Candidate lists in Kaluga, Kostroma, and Novosibirsk regions were nominated by the results of open primaries.

In the July 27 election, registration was refused the list of candidates by the Novosibirsk Region Commission, as part of the list of collected signatures was considered invalid.

Registration for election of deputies for the Novosibirsk Region Legislative Assembly was possible for Egor Savin, the leader of the Novosibirsk branch of RPR-Parnas, who with number 16 took second place in the single-mandate constituency with 18.96% of the vote.

The registration of RPR-Parnas candidate lists was also refused in Kaluga, Magadan and Kostroma Regions because of issues with signatures. However, following an appeal filed by Russia's CEC, the Kostroma Region Electoral Commission was ordered to review the decision to refuse registration within two days, and on August 14, 2016 the RPR-Parnas candidate list amounting to 43 people was registered under the last number 15 by the Electoral Committee of the Kostroma Region.

There were three candidates on the RPR-Parnas region-wide list: Ilya Yashin, Vladimir Andreichenko and Roman Knyazev. As a result of the election, the RPR-Parnas candidate list gained 2.28% of votes (the entrance barrier is 5%) and was not included in the distribution of mandates.

2016 Elections
In 2016, Parnas participated in only one regional election campaign for the election of deputies of the sixth convocation of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly with a list of 23 candidates.

In the summer 2015, the creation of a broad democratic coalition to participate in the coming elections of regional parliaments based on the People's Freedom Party was announced. In the autumn of the same year, the coalition confirmed its plans to participate in the 2016 State Duma elections.

On July 2, 2016 the Party Congress was held, which put forward a list of 113 candidates in single-member constituencies for the State Duma elections. The federal part of the candidate list includes three candidates: Mikhail Kasyanov, Vyacheslav Maltsev and Andrei Zubov. The total list of candidates consists of 312 people, divided into 49 regional groups.

On July 15, 2016 the federal list of candidates numbering of 283 people was certified by the CEC, including representatives of different political parties (including undocumented ones), public associations and non-party candidates. The Parnas Party federal list was presented by Ruzil Mingalimov, the City of Naberezhnye Chelny MP, Vasily Tsependa, Yaroslavl Oblast (Duma Deputy), Olga Zhakova (Irkutsk social activist), Egor Savin, Vladimir Nazarov (singer), Natalia Gryaznevich, Andrei Pivovarov and professor Andrei Zubov.

Before beginning the campaign, some members of the Parnas Party requested permission from Ukraine authorities to campaign in the Crimea.

Charges against Putin and retaliatory action
On December 16, 2010 at the end of the TV program "A Conversation with Vladimir Putin", Russian Prime Minister Putin read out the question posed by an anonymous author saying "What do Nemtsov, Ryzhkov, Milov and so on (Parnas leaders at that time) actually want?" and answered:

"Money and power, what more could they want? At one time in the 90s, they dragged many billions along with Berezovsky and those who are now in prison."

In response to this, Nemtsov, Ryzhkov and Milov filed a lawsuit against Putin and VGTRK, which broadcast the program mentioned, in protection of their honor, dignity and business reputation. Savelovsky District Court of Moscow dismissed the claim, and in the reasoning behind the decision explained that the "names Nemtsov, Ryzhkov and Milov were used not as personal names, but exclusively as the daily-use meaning of these names to refer to a certain class of politicians," and that the question "What does the opposition want?" concerned not the persons of B. E. Nemtsov, V. A. Ryzhkov, and V. S. Milov, but was of a general character aimed at clarifying the general attitude of V. V. Putin with respect to the activities of a certain group of people which had previously been directly related to the implementation of state power in the Russian Federation."

Additional Info
In Russian: Парнас
Founders: Mikhail Kasyanov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and Boris Nemtsov
Established: Monday, 12 August 2002
Official Website