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Medvedev Eases Registration Process For Political Parties

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the law
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a law that is meant to ease registration of political parties.

But some opposition groups have dismissed it as window dressing.

A memo posted on the Kremlin website says Medvedev signed a federal law "meant to liberalize requirements for the creation and working of political parties."

Under new rules, the signatures of 500 people are needed to register a party -- down from 40,000 that had been required in the past.

Parnas, a liberal democratic party that refused to attend the April 3 signing ceremony, said "there has been no step" toward political reform because "the executive power has all the instruments to limit people's rights to unite into a political party."

Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the Left Front movement, called the signing ceremony "a completely formalized, decorative event."

Based on reporting by AFP and ITAR-TASS