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    Leader of Russia's liberal SPS opposition party set to resign

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    The leader of Russia's SPS opposition party said on Sunday he would resign at the party's congress scheduled for Monday, following the party's crushing defeat at the December 2 parliamentary elections.

    MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - The leader of Russia's SPS opposition party said on Sunday he would resign at the party's congress scheduled for Monday, following the party's crushing defeat at the December 2 parliamentary elections.

    At the State Duma elections held on December 2, the pro-Kremlin United Russia party won a landslide victory with 64.3% of the vote, followed by the Communists (11.57%), the Liberal-Democratic party (8.14%) and the Kremlin loyalist A Just Russia party (7.74%). The liberal SPS opposition party gained only 0.96% of the vote.

    "I undertook to resign in the event of the party's defeat," said Nikita Belykh, the leader of SPS or the Union of Right Forces.

    Belykh said the SPS congress would elect the party's new governing bodies and discuss the party's participation at the presidential elections scheduled for March 2, 2008.

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