MOSCOW, February 28 (Itar-Tass) — The political reform bills the Russian president proposed “will considerably broaden citizens’ rights, will give people additional opportunities really to participate in governing the state,” Sergei Neverov, the deputy speaker of the State Duma and secretary of the presidium of the United Russia General Council, told reporters on Tuesday.
“I don’t agree with Nikita Mikhalkov who believes they do nothing for democratization of society,” Neverov said.
“Direct gubernatorial elections, a simplified procedure for parties’ registration, the fewer signatures required and the earlier passed bills in the similar trends are the extremely important decisions to broaden the opportunities of citizens’ participation in political affairs,” Neverov stressed.
He remarked that he respects Nikita Mikhalkov as a film director, a people’s artist and a patriot of Russia, “but as regards the political system reform, Nikita Sergeyevich [Mikhalkov] should listen to what people say about the need for an effective dialogue between the authorities and society, about respect for one another and justice.”
Mikhalkov, electioneering agent of presidential candidate Vladimir Putin, expressed a critical attitude to the package of the presidential initiatives at the meeting with students of the Higher School of Economics the other day. The film director whose statements appear on the official website of the United Russia party, said the reform proposed by the head of state, also regarding the liberalization of the party activities, ”has nothing to do with democratization of society.”