The source said Medvedev would not discuss December’s disputed parliamentary elections and “rally activity.”© RIA Novosti. Mikhail Klementiev
MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti)
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will on Wednesday meet with representatives of registered political parties, his spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said.
“The president will discuss the political reform with representatives of registered parties,” she said.
Russia has five registered parties: the ruling United Russia party, the Communists, the Liberal Democratic Party, A Just Russia and Yabloko, which is not represented in the State Duma.
Earlier a high-ranking source in the Kremlin said Medvedev would like to focus the discussions on the political reform based on proposals the president voiced in his state of the nation address to parliament, as well as bills on registration of political parties and governor elections, already submitted to the lower house.
Addressing the full Russian parliament in December, Medvedev proposed a host of liberal reforms, including reinstating direct elections of regional governors and simplifying the procedure for registering political parties.
The source said however that Medvedev would not discuss December’s disputed parliamentary elections and “rally activity.”
The source also said Medvedev planned to meet with the leaders of both registered and yet unregistered parties by the end of February.
Opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov, Sergei Udaltsov and firebrand politician Eduard Limonov are all leaders of unregistered parties, but it is unclear whether they will be invited to the meeting.
Claims of fraud in favor of the ruling United Russia party at December’s parliamentary polls have sparked the biggest anti-government protests seen in Russia in decades.
The latest demonstration came on February 4, exactly a month before Medvedev’s mentor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will seek to return to his old job in the Kremlin.
Speaking after the first two mass rallies in December, Putin said protesters lacked a common position.
“Who should we talk with?” he told reporters. “They should come together with some form of joint platform and joint positions so we can understand what these people want. They are very different.”
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The formation of the Russian Popular Front (RPF) could be a positive development in Russian politics. While it is clear that Russia still lacks a full-fledged multiparty system, the fact is that such systems are in crisis elsewhere in the world. Traditional political parties are growing increasingly inadequate and outmoded. Their time has passed.