MOSCOW, March 20 (Itar-Tass) — The European Parliament has called for caution in the simplification of the procedure of registration of political parties in Russia, Austrian MEP, Rapporteur for Russia Hannes Swoboda said on Tuesday.
“Caution is needed during the transition to the simplification of the registration of political parties,” he said. “Hundreds of parties may be created, as a result of which the voter will be ‘at a loss,’ which will reduce transparency.” However, Swoboda said that he supports this ··simplification idea and the return of direct gubernatorial elections.
The MEP also called on Russia’s opposition to develop a common program. “Otherwise, it will not achieve success,” he said. “It is clear that rallies alone cannot reform the country, it is necessary to cooperate with the elected deputies of the State Duma.” The European Parliament’s rapporteur for Russia proposed to use the experience of the European Parliament to reform the political system.
The State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament is considering in the second reading on Tuesday amendments to the presidential version of the bill on reducing 80 times - from 40,000 to 500 people - the minimum membership requirement for political parties for their creation and registration.
The bill concept specifies that a political party must have at least 500 members. The minimum membership requirements for a party branches in regions, which should be formed in at least half of the subjects of the Russian Federation shall be cancelled, it is stipulated that they can be defined by the party charter. In view of this, it is specifically stated that from now on a party cannot be liquidated on the grounds of “insufficient number of its members.”
Head of the house relevant committee for public associations Alexei Ostrovsky said earlier that a number of amendments proposed by the non-system opposition, including the law’s entry into force from the time of publication, and not in 2013, have been recommended for adoption. “The Committee made a decision to support the essential amendments that were the subject of special debate within the framework of the working group led by Vyacheslav Volodin,” Ostrovsky said.
The State Duma plans to finalise the draft law by the end of this week.
The document is expected to be presented in the third and final reading on Friday, March 23.