6 Apr 2012

New party registration law mistrusted

10:03 am on 6 April 2012

A new law in Russia makes it easier to register a new political party, but opposition groups say it's a ruse to further divide them.

President Dmitry Medvedev signed the new bill into law at a meeting with opposition leaders on Tuesday, but the event was boycotted by organisers of recent anti-Kremlin protests in Moscow and other large cities.

The new law cuts the required number of party members to 500 from 40,000 previously.

However, critics say the law is a sophisticated plot to flood the political arena with many new parties, and create chaos.

The Left Front group and the Party of People's Freedom want an end to powers enabling the authorities to reject registration.

They also want to be able to create blocs in which smaller parties could unite. Both proposals have been rejected.