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Russia Supreme Court bans country's oldest political party

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation [official website, in Russian] Friday banned the Social Democratic Party of Russia [party website, in Russian] for failure to follow regulations. The Court upheld a judgment in favor of the Russian Registration Service [official website, in Russian], which had sued the party for failure to establish 500-member local offices in at least 45 Russian [JURIST news archive] regions and for failure to become a public organization by the start of this year. Party leader Vladimir Kishenin denied the charges, saying that offices had been established in 47 regions. Kishenin called the move "purely political" and announced plans to appeal the decision.

The Social Democratic Party was created in the pre-Bolshevik Russia in 1898 and revived in 2002 by former USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev [official website; CNN profile], making it Russia's oldest political party. The Russian Supreme Court has upheld similar bans stemming from Registration Services challenges to political parties, dissolving the Republican Party of Russia, the Russia Peace Party [JURIST reports] and the Freedom and Rule of the People Party earlier this year; considerations of bans against three other parties are pending. MosNews has more.

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