The Kremlin has launched a series of meetings with the parties which will participate in regional elections in September 2013. This format of regular contacts is used for the first time. The Kommersant believes that the move is meant to show that the authorities are meeting the society's demand for competition in politics. Keeping the format is not easy, as the number of parties has increased to five dozen.
On Thursday, Kremlin officials are meeting with A Just Russia representatives. On Wednesday, deputy speaker from the Liberal Democratic Party /LDPR/ faction Igor Lebedev said the LDPR leadership had had talks with first deputy Kremlin chief of staff Vyacheslav Volodin and head of the Kremlin's domestic politics department Oleg Morozov the day before.
A Kremlin source confirmed to the Kommersant that such meetings with representatives of political parties would be regular: "the objective is to ensure openness, democracy, competitiveness in the election process, discussion of new approaches in politics in connection with the recent laws in this area, and exchange of opinions about a whole range of political issues."
Taking part in the meetings will be participants in the September 8 election campaign: the LDPR, A Just Russia, the KPRF /Communist Party/, and United Russia, as well as the new parties registered by the Justice Ministry after the registration procedure was simplified.
There is an explanation to the public format selected by Kremlin officials, the newspaper underlines.
The task Vyacheslav Volodin is facing differs from his predecessor's. Whereas Vladislav Surkov could afford musing about the prospects for establishing a two-party political model in the country as the ratings of Vladimir Putin and United Russia had soared, Volodin is taking care of the government's interests amid the society's demand for competition in politics.
The newspaper reminds that the number of parties after the streamlining of registration rules has already exceeded 50. The September 8 elections are expected to see a dramatic increase in the number of contenders. The administration believes equal access to the Kremlin for all the 50 parties can only be arranged collectively, and that the format is being finalized.