Medvedev to Seal Party Reform at Opposition Meeting

President Dmitry Medvedev will sign into law a bill on political party reform at a meeting with leaders of unregistered parties on April 2, an activist said on Tuesday.

The bill is still pending approval of the upper chamber of Russian legislature, the Federation Council, but is expected to be passed in time for Medvedev’s meeting, Anatoly Panfilov of the ecological movement The Green Ones told RIA Novosti.

Representatives of several minor parties and groups confirmed being invited, but it remained unclear whether Medvedev intends to speak with opposition heavyweights including Sergei Udaltsov, Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Ryzhkov, all of whom co-headed sweeping anti-government protests in Moscow this winter, Kommersant said.

The political reform, which is to ease registration rules for political parties and presidential candidates, was launched by Medvedev after the street protests.

Medvedev, who refused to run in the recent presidential elections against his political patron, Prime Minister and president-elect Vladimir Putin, met with opposition leaders in February, inviting them to join a working group drafting the reform.

Many proposals by the opposition, including removal of a ban on electoral blocs, did not make it to the final text of the bill, but Udaltsov told Kommersant he was “60 percent satisfied” with the reform.


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