Instead, he has relied on his contacts in the security services, in the Yeltsin "family" and among various oligarchs to consolidate his hold on the reins of power.
Similarly, Yeltsin made a point of standing above the political fray, refusing to identify with any party.
Shoigu said the new party "will achieve what a majority of the people desire so much: The political situation in the country will become clear and predictable."
Shaimiyev said the new party will stand for a strong state and federation--an allusion to resisting separatist tendencies in some regions.
Among its priorities, he said, will be greater freedom of speech, a market economy, the creation of a favorable climate for small business, private ownership of farmland and the creation of a civil society.
Luzhkov said the party will promote efficient central authority.
"We will never be able to accomplish any of the goals proclaimed without a strong state," he said. "The country needs an efficient authority acting as the guarantor of political stability and inviolability of the constitutional system."
Times staff writer Robyn Dixon contributed to this report.