Russian Main page Russia at the polls World Front page
BBC News Online
Russian Elections 1999
The elections are as much a contest between personalities, and the power blocs they control, as a conventional electoral race between parties. Click the names on the right for an at-a-glance guide to the key figures and political groupings.
FATHERLAND-ALL-RUSSIA
UNITY
UNION OF RIGHT-WING FORCES
YABLOKO
OUR HOME IS RUSSIA
THE COMMUNIST PARTY
Boris YELTSIN
Yury LUZHKOV
Yevgeny PRIMAKOV
Vladimir PUTIN
Grigory YAVLINSKY
Gennady ZYUGANOV
Aleksander LEBED
Vladimir
ZHIRINOVSKY

Union of Right-Wing Forces



Union of Right Wing Forces
The Union of Right-Wing Forces was one of the surprise successes of December's parliamentary election, taking fourth place. Its most effective campaign tactic was to declare support for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and to back his bid for the presidency. This appears to have been enough to win the votes of some of the huge number of Russian citizens who regard Mr Putin as the country's best hope for the future.

The Union was formed by two of Russia's leading young reformers, who lost top jobs in government after the collapse of the rouble in August 1998. They are Sergey Kiriyenko, the former banker who was prime minister for five months, and Boris Nemtsov, the ex-governor of Nizhny Novgorod, who served as first deputy prime minister in charge of the economy. Both head their own political movements, Mr Kiriyenko's known as New Force, and Mr Nemtsov's known as Right Cause. The third leading member of the Union is Irina Khakamada, another young ex-government official who had responsibility for promoting small and medium businesses.

All three of the Union's leaders could have long political careers ahead of them, but their names are currently associated with the hardship of economic reform, which limits their popular appeal.