Russian major political party
Unified Russia was officially registered on 18 December 2001 on the basis of the former Unity party and Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov's Fatherland movement, which began coordinating their programs in April 2001.
In January 2002, Duma Deputy Alexander Bespalov was named chairman of the party's General Council. In November 2002, Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov was named chairman of the party's Higher Council, the body that determines the party's overall political strategy. Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Aleksey Gordeev and six regional governors also serve on the 18-member Higher Council. It claims 400,000 members and has branches in 89 regions of Russia.
In the 1999 State Duma elections, Unity received 23.32 percent of the vote, while Fatherland-All Russia garnered 13.3 percent.
Unified Russia describes itself as a centrist party that openly supports the policies of President Vladimir Putin. According to the manifesto adopted on 29 March 2003, Unified Russia aspires to be "not only a parliamentary-majority, but a national-majority party."
The party has set the goal of winning 200-250 mandates in the next Duma, giving it a majority. It favours a strong executive branch as a guarantee of political stability and constitutional order.
Federal Party List: Boris Gryzlov, Sergei Shoigu, Yurii Luzhkov, Mintimer Shaimiev