Medvedev Receives Explanation for Opposition Party Ban

The Russian Justice Ministry reported to the president on Friday the reasons why it denied registration last year to opposition party Parnas, the ministry’s press service said.

Opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov, Mikhail Kasyanov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and Vladimir Milov agreed to set up the People’s Freedom Party (abbreviated in Russian as Parnas) in 2010. But the Justice Ministry refused to register the new party ahead of parliamentary elections last December, citing shortcomings in its charter.

The ministry’s previously said the party members listed in registration documents included a number of ineligible people – minors and the deceased – as well as those with incorrect adresses.

President Dmitry Medvedev instructed the ministry to report on why Parnas had not been registered after a meeting with opposition members on March 5.

The party leaders have appealed the ministry’s denial in court. In late February, the Moscow City Court postponed hearings in an appeal of a lower court’s refusal to register the party, until March 20.

Russia’s ruling United Russia party led by president-elect Vladimir Putin won the December 4 elections to the Duma, which gave rise to vote rigging allegations and a wave of protests across the country.


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