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Alexander Shishlov: Participation of the state in the creation of political parties should be reduced to a minimum

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The Yabloko faction in the State Duma thinks that participation of the state in the creation of political parties should be reduced to a minimum, and at best should not participate at all.”

This opinion was expressed by Alexander Shishlov, member of the Yabloko faction, at parliamentary hearings on the draft law “On Political Parties and Party Activities” held on Thursday. Shishlov is a co-author of a corresponding draft law prepared by the Yabloko faction.

Shishlov stressed: “The law on political parties should serve as a tool for developing civil society, ensuring independent and responsible political representation of the interests of citizens, instead of consolidation of centralised state control over political life.”

Shislov added that in Yabloko’s view “the systematic and long-term participation of the party in political life, first of all in elections” should serve as the criterion for a nation-wide political party, rather than the number of party members.

According to the developers of Yabloko’s draft, the “legislator should provide the requirements for internal party democracy:” in particular, the by-laws of the parties should contain limits for the terms of office to management bodies of the party, stipulate the maximum term for extending their proxies and also include provisions for secret ballots on all personal issues and a ban on the delegation of the power of the collective bodies to somebody else.

According to Shishlov, other parties should be allowed to take court action, if a party violates the law, as “ control by competitors is always the most efficient form of control."

Yabloko also thinks that the “under the new law, the period of state registration of the parties should not be protracted”.

Deputy of the State Duma, Secretary of the Yabloko Association on Ideology Sergei Mitrokhin stressed in his speech at the hearings that it is necessary to legally “prohibit directly and clearly membership of the military and the interior in political parties, as well as any activity by political parties in schools, primary schools and any other youth and children organisations.” He also said that the new law should “stipulate very clearly and stringently guaranteed equal access of the registered parties to the state mass media.” Mitrokhin added: “If we fail to introduce restrictions on the monopolisation of political life by the “party of the power”, the law will be represented by a cudgel that strikes us on the head.”

See also:

Law “On Parties”

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