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PC links bill on simplifying party registration with liberalization in Russia.

December 24, 2011, 10:32 UTC+3

Independents are to collect 300,000 signatures

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MOSCOW, December 24 (Itar-Tass) — The Public Chamber connects the bill on simplifying the registration of parties with liberalization of the political system in Russia.

“The bill, providing for cutting down the number of signatures, necessary for nomination of presidential candidates and relief of political parties from collection of signatures to participate in the State Duma elections, is connected with liberalization of the country’s political system,” said Georgy Fedorov, Public Chamber member.

He noted that “according to the suggested scheme, a political party is to collect no more than 2,500 signatures in one subject of the Russian Federation to nominate a presidential candidate; independents are also to win: 300,000 signatures instead of two million”.

However, In Fedorov’s opinion, the real practice can have ”hidden rocks” in implementing this initiative, that is a moment when signatures will be inspected and calculated.

Fedorov did not preclude a chance that “this bill will be the first step to large-scale democratization of the system, presupposing cancellation of signature collection to register political parties and ditching of signature collection to participate in general elections”.

He promised at the same time that “the Public Chamber will follow attentively this and following bills on modernizing election legislation and will make its proposals, if need be, for their finalization”.

President Dmitry Medvedev submitted on Friday bills on simplifying registration of political parties and cutting down the number of signatures, necessary for nomination of presidential ccandidates. According to a bill on making changes in the federal law on “political parties”, a political party is to have a membership of 500 people (now – 50,000), starting from January 1, 2013.

Parties are to collect at least 100,000 signatures (now – at least two million) in support of a presidential candidate. Independents are to collect 300,000 signatures.

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