26 May 2012, 17:01

United Russia to face reforms

United Russia to face reforms
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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has been elected chairman of the United Russia Party. Medvedev officially joined United Russia on Tuesday thereby becoming Russia’s first prime minister affiliated to a political party. The election of a party leader topped the agenda of the 13th United Russia Congress on Saturday.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has been elected chairman of the United Russia Party. Medvedev officially joined United Russia on Tuesday thereby becoming Russia’s first prime minister affiliated to a political party. The election of a party leader topped the agenda of the 13th United Russia Congress on Saturday. After being elected, Dmitry Medvedev pledged to carry out sweeping domestic reforms. The Voice of Russia’s Maria Vesnovskaya reports.

The candidacy of Dmitry Medvedev was proposed by President Vladimir Putin. On Saturday, Putin resigned as party chairman and summarized the achievements of the party’s work. He said that the party had created the right conditions for its future development and had become a good 'school' for new generations of politicians. However, it needs reforms if it wants to maintain its political leadership.

"The level of political competition is set to increase over the next few years. This will be a good incentive for Russia’s continuous development and will make Russia's civil society more mature. For a genuine democracy it’s not the number of parties that counts but their ability to set clear and realistic targets and accept responsibility for pursuing these goals. The political groups whose programs serve the country’s needs will receive a lot of public support".

Dmitry Medvedev has proposed to carry out a number of reforms within the party. In his opinion, United Russia should become more “dynamic” and should reach a higher level of democracy in the near future. Almost every position in the party should be elected, Medvedev said, adding that this election process should start with the lowest ranks.  We should start strengthening the party at the grassroots level, Medvedev added.

"Direct and competitive elections of governing bodies at every level, clear-cut election procedures, and debates ahead of each election must become a norm in the near future. The implementation of these reforms will boost the credibility of our local branches. The leaders of grassroots organisations should be fully aware that in addition to being good organizers, they should also be good political leaders, which is how their fellow party members and local residents should see them".

Medvedev’s proposals have been described by members of United Russia as “timely and ambitious”. It has also been suggested that the party should introduce mandatory debates. Leader of the United Russia faction Andrei Vorobyov argued that competition within the party would make it much stronger on the political arena.

 

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