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New filter for political parties hot off press

December 03, 2013, 12:27 UTC+3

The Civil Society Development Foundation (CSDF) has released a report on the Russian party system’s current state and its prospects

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MOSCOW, December 03. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. Newspapers report a new filter for political parties developed by pro-Kremlin spin doctors. The Civil Society Development Foundation (CSDF) has released a report on the Russian party system’s current state and its prospects. The report puts forward a number of revolutionary proposals, and since the foundation is in essence the Presidential staff’s subsidiary, the ideas may be realized.

In this case, the course will be towards reducing the number of parties, like in early 2000s, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reports. One of the authors, chairman of the CSDF Konstantin Kostin, says that only 54 out of the 74 registered parties used their right to run in the latest elections and only twelve of them surpassed the barrier in at least one of the regions. Many parties’ programs are copied and are only a formality for the Ministry of Justice.

How can the state make fake parties work? The CSDF suggests a carrot-and-stick approach, or, to be precise, with an emphasis on the stick part of it. If a party fails to clinch at least one victory over two election cycles, it is automatically re-registered into a non-governmental organization and has no right to further political competition. The report suggests only those parties run in the 2016 State Duma elections that are represented in at least one of the regional assemblies. The same would apply to the municipal elections.

Guided by this model and judging by the results of the State Duma and regional elections in 2012-2013, the experts have proposed to divide all registered political parties in three leagues and, accordingly, introduce restrictions for participation in federal and regional elections, the Novye Izvestia daily says. The parties that do not launch electoral campaigns or are unsuccessful may face sanctions and even lose their status. The four parties represented in the State Duma — United Russia, Just Russia, the Communist Party and the Political Party LDPR - are supposed to comprise the supreme league. A buffer zone between the first and second leagues includes four political parties (Russian Ecological Party “The Greens”, Green Alliance, For Women of Russia party, the Party of Social Solidarity) whose candidates have been elected to the regional assemblies in single seat districts.

“This toss and turn is ridiculous - first they allow everything, then they understand that elections are impossible with over 70 registered parties and now they are trying to limit this right,” the secretary of the Yabloko democratic party’s political committee, Galina Mikhalyova, told the Novye Izvestia daily. A party with half a thousand members is nonsense in such a huge country as ours, she added, saying all this is aimed to accommodate United Russia and the Kremlin biddable political parties now sitting in the State Duma.

Itar-Tass is not responsible for the material quoted in these press reviews

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