Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
Published 23rd November, 2011
The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR was founded by Vladimir Zhirinovsky in 1991. It was formerly and briefly the Liberal Democratic Party of the Soviet Union (LDPSU) which held its first congress on 31st March 1990. It describes itself as socially conservative and believes in Russian nationalism, Pan-Slavism and Statism.
The party opposes communism and also what it describes as ‘wild capitalism’. Instead it finds a middle line based upon a mixed economy with private ownership but also a strong state.
In its first outing in the presidential election of June 1991 its candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky came third with 7.81% of the vote. In the August the party supported the attempted coup and was technically banned in August 1992 on the grounds that it had falsified its membership records.
It was allowed to contest the 1993 election and came first equal in number of seats, along with Russia’s Choice, on 64 of the 450 seats in the Duma. However it was the first party in terms of percentage of the vote, taking 22.92% of the vote.
In 1995, however, the party slumped in the elections, taking just 51 seats and 11.18% of the vote.
A year later, in the 1996 presidential election, Vladimir Zhirinovsky also slumped to fifth place with 5.7% of the vote.
In the 1999 election the party was barred from standing because of irregularities but got around the legalities by standing as Zhirinovsky’s Bloc. Despite this they took just 5.98% of the vote and 17 seats.
The situation worsened in the 2000 presidential election when Vladimir Zhirinovsky took just 2.7% of the vote.
The party came back from the brink in the 2003 state Duma elections, winning 36 seats and 11.45% of the vote. Zhirinovsky decided not to stand in the 2004 presidential election and the party nominated Oleg Malyshkin in his place – he won just 2.02% of the vote.
Although the party took only 8.14% of the vote in the 2007 state Duma elections, they did win 40 seats and in the 2008 presidential election Zhirinovsky was back and won 9.48% of the vote.
The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia has no international affiliations.