Kremlin Strategist Urges Liberal Party for ‘Annoyed’ Russians

Russia needs a new liberal party to accommodate “annoyed” Moscow residents, the Kremlin’s first deputy chief of staff said after thousands of people protested parliamentary election results last night in the city.

“A mass liberal party is lacking” in the current political system, Vladislav Surkov said in an interview posted on the Ekho Moskvy radio station’s website today. “Apart from communicating with the state, they also need representation in Parliament.”

Opposition parties and international observers said the Dec. 4 election was marred by violations including ballot- stuffing. Thousands of protesters took to Moscow’s streets yesterday to accuse Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia of rigging the elections. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today called for an investigation into “fraud” in the conduct of the vote.

“Attempts to rock the situation and interpret it in a negative, provocative way are doomed to failure,” Surkov said. “Everything is under control.”

President Dmitry Medvedev’s chief political strategist dismissed talk of massive electoral violations as “wailing.” United Russia’s preliminary tally of 49.3 percent was close to exit polls that predicted the ruling party would win 48.5 percent of the vote, he said.

While United Russia’s support shrank at the polls, its performance was excellent considering it steered a “diverse and irritated society” through an economic crisis, Surkov said. The ruling party will lead the nation to a “new political reality, new stability,” he added.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lyubov Pronina in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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