MOSCOW, December 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Dmitry Medvedev passed in the State Duma a bill on amendments in the law on political parties, the Kremlin press service reported on Friday.
The bill “is seeking to liberalize the requirements to the creation and activities of political parties.”
The bill “holds that starting from January 1, 2013, a political party should number no less than 500 members.” The requirements to the minimum number of members in regional offices of a political party are cancelled. The party regional offices should be opened at least in a half of constituents of the Russian Federation. The political party can set these requirements in the charter.
With due account of the foresaid amendments “starting from January 1, 2013, a political party cannot be liquidated over an insufficient number of members in regional offices of the political party.”
In the creation of a political party “the standard for the representation of delegates at a founding congress of a political party or a congress of an all-Russian public organization or an all-Russian public movement, which is convened to turn them in a political party, is set at no less than two delegates (presently no less than three delegates) from each regional office, which is formed in no less than a half of constituents of the Russian Federation.
The political party “presents in authorized agencies once in three years (presently every year) the information about the number of its members in each regional office, its continued activities, its structural branches, which are not vested with the rights of a juridical person, but which have the right to run in elections and referenda under the charter of a political party, as well as a copy of an aggregate financial report.” The aggregate financial report is presented to the Central Elections Commission once in three years (presently every year).
Authorized agencies, which control the observance of Russian legislation by political parties, “can no oftener than once in three years (presently no oftener than once in a year) study the documents of political parties and their regional offices, which verify the existence of regional offices and the number of members in the political party.”
The enactment of the federal law is envisaged since the day of its official publication, except for some provisions of the law. So, starting from January 1, 2013, the current requirements will be applied to the political parties, which are registered after the date of the federal law put in force. If during the period from the day of the enactment of the federal law until January 1, 2013 new political parties are formed, new requirements are envisaged for them over the number of regional offices, the number of members in a political party and the representation of delegates at a founding congress.