Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had a meeting with the leaders of unregistered parties on Tuesday. He signed the law that simplifies the registration of political parties in the country at the meeting. According to new rules, the minimal numerical strength of a party is reduced from 40,000 members to 500 people. The experts are sceptical about the reforming effect in the party construction.
According to the new rules, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily recalled, the numerical strength of a party is brought down from 40,000 people to 500 people. The president acknowledged that some officials were seeking to talk him out of making such a radical reduction. They explained it by the fact that political lilliputians will appear. However, Medvedev noted on Tuesday that he picked up a normal, modern path along which the whole world is going. Meanwhile, the new law provides broader possibilities for the parties to file registration documents, and the Justice Ministry will give three months to correct the mistakes. The reporting system of the parties is also simplified. Instead of an annual report to the Central Elections Commission and the Justice Ministry it is enough to make a report to the CEC once in three years.
On Tuesday, Dmitry Medvedev encouraged 44 leaders of the unregistered parties at the Kremlin. According to the new legislation these parties will be able register, the Kommersant daily noted. He signed the law on political parties right in the presence of the party leaders and “decided to make this event symbolic”. Future party partisans praised this gesture, which can obviously raise their self-assessment. “In the presence of the leaders of unregistered parties the law was signed to liberalize the political system. A new stage in the life of the country really began. The air has not been ventilated in the party construction for 12 years,” leader of the Alliance of the Greens-People’s Party Oleg Mitvol shared his opinion.
Head of the people’s movement Holy Rus, a Monarchist Vasily Boiko-Veliky, who was wearing the clothes of the seventeenth century, dwelt on the plans of his party. He explained that the pledge of Russia’s revival is the choice of a tsar, who will redeem the sin of tsarist execution in the country.
“The simplified registration of parties does not mean the guarantees for a normal party system to appear,” the Nezavisimaya Gazeta quoted a member of the scientific board of the Moscow Carnegie Centre Nikolai Petrov as saying. The expert sees the main shortcoming of Medvedev’s political reforms in the lack of a target-setting mechanism. “If the president intends to form a full-fledged party system, this reform should embrace the registration and the possibility for the parties to run in federal elections and a higher role of the party in the political system,” Petrov said with confidence. He estimates these innovations as the way invented by the Kremlin to let off steam. If dozens of parties are registered, they lack the real motivation to run in federal elections. In this case the political scene will sooner reminds of the show business, where along with the main performers (the parliamentary parties) there will be a large number even not of back vocalists, but just a phoney crowd of extras, which will imitate singing (massive party activities) if necessary.
The presidential laws should be amended to provide for the formation of inter-party election blocs, change the procedure to form election committees, giving priority to the political parties in this process, the Novye Izvestia cited the coordinator of the Left Front movement Sergei Udaltsov as saying. Meanwhile, Udaltsov intends to continue his participation in the working group to finalize a political reform. The working group was formed after the first meeting between President Medvedev and representatives of the non-system opposition on February 20. “We will fight for a full-fledged political reform and we joined the working group for this,” the politician pledged.