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Acting President and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin addressed the constituent congress of the Unity national public and political movement

February 27, 2000, State Kremlin Palace, Moscow

In his speech, Mr Putin said that although about 200 parties had registered in Russia so far, a working party system had not yet been set up.

He said that the country lacked reputable parties that could serve as a basis for a multiparty system and bring Russians together. Mr Putin pointed to the need to create the right conditions for establishing an effective multiparty system in Russia, of which Unity could become a part.

He also expressed hope that the movement would become a major, representative and stable political force with a real impact on the destiny of the country and its regions.

The congress approved the movement’s charter and discussed its draft programme. Sergei Shoigu, deputy prime minister and minister for civil defence, emergency situations and consequences of natural disasters, was elected Unity’s leader. The congress also decided on the make-up of the movement’s governing bodies, i.e., the political council and the executive council.

The members of the Unity movement approved a political statement which expressed their full support for Acting President Vladimir Putin. They called on all Russian citizens to support his candidacy in the forthcoming presidential election to be held on March 26.

All in all, 1,155 delegates from the 88 republics and regions of the Russian Federation took part in the Unity constituent congress.

February 27, 2000, State Kremlin Palace, Moscow