Kasparov wins opposition primaries in Russia

9/27/2007 – The Moscow branch of the Other Russia opposition party Monday chose former world chess champion Garry Kasparov as candidate for the 2008 presidential elections. Kasparov garnered 66 of a possible 113 votes at the all-important Moscow primary, defeating ex-premier Mikhail Kasyanov. In addition to many international reports there is a remarkable 12-page (!) story in the New Yorker.

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The Tsar’s Opponent

Garry Kasparov takes aim at the power of Vladimir Putin.
by David Remnick

On a recent summer evening, the greatest player in the history of chess, Garry Kasparov, wrapped up an exhausting series of meetings devoted to the defeat of the Kremlin regime. After days of debate, a motley pride of unlikely revolutionaries – bearded politicos, earnest academics, and multigrained environmentalists – collected their cigarettes and left Kasparov’s apartment, divided and worn out. Little had been accomplished. Crumpled drafts of fevered proclamations lay scattered on the kitchen table. Puffy-eyed and unsmiling, Kasparov grunted a curt farewell to his comrades and went off to make yet another urgent telephone call.

Kasparov is forty-four. He was the world chess champion for fifteen years. Until his retirement, two years ago, his dominance was unprecedented. Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Fischer – none came close. Chess has outsized meaning in Russia, and Kasparov at home was a cross between the greatest of athletes and a revered intellectual. Now he has volunteered for grim and, very likely, futile duty. As the most conspicuous leader of Drugaya Rossiya (the Other Russia), an umbrella group of liberals, neo-Bolsheviks, and just about anyone else wishing to speak ill of Vladimir Putin.


Ideas Versus Experience Clash In Primaries

By Galina Stolyarova

As Garry Kasparov faces off with Mikhail Kasyanov in a series of primaries being held by The Other Russia Coalition to elect a unified opposition candidate that would oppose pro-Kremlin rivals in the forthcoming presidential elections, the contest is one of political steadfastness verses leadership experience.

In a series of regional primaries being conducted in 54 Russian cities, former chess champion Kasparov and former prime minister Kasyanov have so far led the field. Kasparov won the vote in St. Petersburg on Sunday. The list of potential candidates in the primaries also includes Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky, Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov, emigre dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, liberal State Duma deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov, former leader of the Union of Right Forces Boris Nemtsov and People movement leader Sergei Gulyayev.

The decisive vote takes place this coming Sunday during the opposition coalition’s federal congress in Moscow.


Other stories

  • RIA Novosti: Kasparov wins Other Russia Moscow primaries
    The former world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, has won the second round of the Other Russia primaries in his bid to gain the opposition coalition's nomination for the 2008 presidential elections. Kasparov, 44, who leads the United Civic Front (UCF), a movement that vehemently opposes President Vladimir Putin, received 66 out of a possible 113 votes Monday in the Moscow primary, defeating his main rival, ex-premier Mikhail Kasyanov. The final decision on a single presidential candidate will be taken at an Other Russia session at the end of September.

  • AFP: Chess king Kasparov picks up support for presidential bid
    The Moscow branch of the Other Russia opposition party Monday chose chess great Garry Kasparov as candidate for next year's presidential elections, the RIA Novosti news agency reported overnight. The Other Russia says it will decide at an upcoming party conference on a presidential candidate to contest the March 2, 2008, election to replace President Vladimir Putin. The coalition, which comprises a variety of small groups opposed to Putin, has little impact in Russia where television is under state control and anti-Kremlin politicians are rarely heard. The Other Russia, founded by chess legend Kasparov, is also riven by internal squabbling.

  • Radio Free Europe: Russia Opposition Meets Amid Rifts
    As RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Maksim Yaroshevsky reports from Moscow, the congress got off to a rocky start: "About 20 individuals dressed as homeless people arrived carrying pieces of dirty cardboard with the words: 'We are for Other Russia,' he says. "They were soon joined by activists of the Young Guard organization carrying flags and chanting: 'No to Other Russia.' Inside, panicked organizers tried to figure out whom to let in and who is a provocateur. A provocateur nonetheless managed to get in and locked the entrance doors with a bike lock. Since there were no pliers at hand, oppositionists spent a long time cutting the lock with an ordinary table knife."


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