Lemme tell you about them. Think election campaign managers on STEROIDS. They cropped up in the wake of the USSR, and they do things like run candidates for the party they're working for with names very similar to the opposition candidate-- for my American readers, think 2000 Florida, but on purpose.
And they'd do things like run "scarecrow parties" -- parties that pretended to be independent but were actually branches of a party already in power in the legislative assembly.
And let's not forget fake extremist parties so you can point to them like "Look who we're keeping out of power!" ...more on that next time.