21:19 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Medvedev to Discuss Political Reform with Opposition Leaders

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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with unregistered People’s Freedom Party (Parnas) leaders Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Ryzhkov, Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov and other opposition figures next week, the Kommersant daily reported citing a Kremlin source.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with unregistered People’s Freedom Party (Parnas) leaders Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Ryzhkov, Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov and other opposition figures next week, the Kommersant daily reported citing a Kremlin source.

    At the meeting, which is expected to take place on Monday, the head of state plans to discuss the course of the political reform in the country.

    Earlier a high-ranking source in the Kremlin said Medvedev would like to focus the discussions on the political reform based on proposals he voiced in his state of the nation address to parliament, as well as bills on registration of political parties and governor elections, already submitted to the lower house.

    Addressing the full Russian parliament in December, Medvedev proposed a host of liberal reforms, including reinstating direct elections of regional governors and simplifying the procedure for registering political parties.

    The source said however that Medvedev would not discuss December’s disputed parliamentary elections and “rally activity.”

    But Nemtsov told Kommersant that he has received an invitation to the meeting and plans to discuss protest rallies, demand that December’s parliamentary elections be canceled and touch upon “political prisoners.”

    “And I will propose starting the political reform with an amendment to the Constitution, banning one person from serving more than two terms as president,” the politician said.

    Udaltsov said he has not received an official invitation yet. He also said he plans to discuss protest rallies and proposals on the political reform.

    “We believe it is necessary to… change the order of parties’ registration by the Justice Ministry,” he said.

    Claims of fraud in favor of the ruling United Russia party at December’s parliamentary polls have sparked the biggest anti-government protests seen in Russia in decades.

    The latest demonstration came on February 4, exactly a month before Medvedev’s mentor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will seek to return to his old job in the Kremlin. Putin held the presidential post for two terms in 2000-2008.

    Speaking after the first two mass rallies in December, Putin said protesters lacked a common position.

    “Who should we talk with?” he told reporters. “They should come together with some form of joint platform and joint positions so we can understand what these people want. They are very different.”

     

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