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Former minister says United Russia should take responsibility for stagnation

May 20, 2013, 14:48 UTC+3

Speaking about the reform of the election system, the politician called for introducing a "mixed and tied" system

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MOSCOW, May 20 (Itar-Tass) - Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said United Russia should take "full responsibility for the stagnation in which the country slipped."

"Stagnation is not a one-day story," Kudrin stated during a session of the Open Tribune forum on Monday,"even if we roll our sleeves up now, we'll have to toil three or five years to attain new elements of effectiveness."

"Regrettably, United Russia will have to share these things and responsibility for the government, which does not see these options of the solution," he underlined.

Kudrin is convinced that further development of the political system can ensure modernization of the country and help create mechanisms to perfect it. Otherwise, the country faces degradation and the loss of its economic and military power, he warned.

In his opinion, the external situation is still favorable, yet there is no "internal stimulus" or potency for reforms. The political spectrum in parliament is very center-left, and there are no reformatory or more liberal parties. United Russia is gradually shifting to the left and "has lost a certain drive for reforms." As a result, we have built no stock for economic growth, counting on distribution of money and spending the reserve.

"The political system is lagging behind the challenges of time, and does not ensure the mechanism for arranging the modernization of the country," Kudrin went on to say.

The status of regional governors is also unclear. Regional leaders must have more powers and responsibility, otherwise, they will be unable to meet the level of the state's social obligation in the next one or two years.

Speaking about the reform of the election system, the politician called for introducing a "mixed and tied" system. He reminded that the committee for civil initiatives, through one of the parties represented at the State Duma /lawmakers from A Just Russia faction - eds Itar-Tass/ has already brought forward the relevant amendment.

He explained that such a system is used in Germany, where electorate votes for a Party list and simultaneously for a candidate. "I believe it is wrong to reinstate the mixed electoral system which we had in the early 2000s," he said underlining that "it will freeze and mothball the current situation, because even if United Russia has lower results on Party lists, it will still be able to keep its influence thanks to single constituency candidates. "We have to take a step towards broader representation," Kudrin said.

The former finance minister criticized the law on non-governmental organizations - "foreign agents", saying it is "obvious restriction of the civil society by all the parameters."

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