United Russia party membership reaches 1 mln - leader

MOSCOW, March 6 (RIA Novosti) - Membership of the pro-Kremlin party United Russia has reached one million, a party leader said Monday.

Boris Gryzlov, also the speaker of the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, said: "This morning the number of party members reached 999,546. Considering that over 500 membership cards have been created daily in the last few days, the millionth membership card will be issued today."

The party's press service said that the majority of party members (57.8%) were women.

United Russia, commonly referred to as the "party of power", was founded in 2001 when Unity and Fatherland-All Russia (both established in 1999) merged. The party's co-leaders are Gryzlov, Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov, President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiyev, and Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The party dominates the State Duma, many regional legislatures, and claims many governors as members.

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