Moscow: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has pledged to clear the ruling United Russia party of irresponsible members who damage its image.
"Our party members and leaders are not saints at all. We should make decisions if such problems emerge. If some people who accidentally became party members behave in a way that throws a shadow on the rest in the party structures, we should get rid of these people," Medvedev said.
United Russia`s image has suffered a serious blow as a result of last December`s parliamentary vote, in which the party gained almost half of the vote, but which the opposition said was marred by massive fraud in favour of United Russia.
Large-scale protests took place across the country following the elections, with demonstrators demanding that the vote results be cancelled and new elections held.
Medvedev took over the party leadership from Vladimir Putin when Putin returned to the Kremlin in May, replacing Medvedev as President.
Unlike Putin, who led the party without being its member, Medvedev officially joined the party and has promised to work to improve its tarnished image.
United Russia currently enjoys support of 44 percent of Russians, according to the latest public opinion survey conducted by state-run VTsIOM pollster July 21-22.