Number of political parties in Russia explodes with new law
Following a new law facilitating the registration of political parties in Russia launched in April 2012, 143 parties have applied to join the list of officially registered parties.
The new law is part of the political reform process currently being introduced by the Kremlin. It reduces required membership to 500 citizens and parties no longer have to collect voter signatures to take part in elections.
?The government hopes that the opposition parties will discredit the multiparty system through constant infighting, said analyst Nikolai Petrov, of the Moscow Carnegie Center for RIA Novosti. The Kremlin?s reform may lead to fracturing the political opposition into dozens of perpetually squabbling ?dwarf parties?.
Currently Russia has seven officially registered political parties following a law passed in 2005 which tightened registration rules. The 2005 legislation required parties to have a membership of 40,000 citizens for registration. This reduced the amount of parties from 169 in the 1999 parliamentary elections to seven in 2007.
Out of the 150 political parties due to appear on the scene, only a few will have the chance to become meaningful players.
?There is a public demand for new ideas and new faces across the entire ideological spectrum? said Alexei Makarkin, analyst of the Centre of Political Technologies for RIA Novosti. But the government maintains a hold on state television and while the internet helps gain some popularity,
?A party needs dedicated supporters in the provinces, financial backing, honest ideology and charismatic leadership ? to stand any chance of edging out old players in legislatures of all levels? Makarkin added.