Russia's Medvedev signs law meant to help opposition

By REUTERS
April 3, 2012 21:14

MOSCOW - Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday signed off on a new law meant to open up the country's political system to greater competition after a wave of protests against the dominance of Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party.

Medvedev signed the new bill into law at a meeting with opposition leaders, but the event was boycotted by organizers of the recent anti-Kremlin protests.
"Of course, as happens in life, it (the new law) has satisfied some and not quite the others. Let's wait and see. Maybe this law, like many others, will develop," Medvedev told about 40 small party leaders gathered in the Kremlin.

The new law will make it easier to register political parties, cutting the required number of members to 500 from the previous 40,000, and should benefit the groups behind the protests.

The move is one of the few concrete gains for demonstrators, who failed to prevent Putin from winning a six-year presidential term in a March 4 vote or to force the rerun of a December parliamentary election they said was marred by fraud.


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