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Russia constitutional court upholds political party membership law

[JURIST] Russia's Constitutional Court [official website, in Russian] Monday upheld [press release, in Russian] a 2004 law requiring certified political parties to have at least 50,000 members. The decision upheld a May Supreme Court [official website, in Russian] ruling that dissolved the Russian Communist Workers Party - Revolutionary Party of Communists (RKRP-RPK) [party website, in Russian], a party of approximately 35,000 members. The party's first secretary told reporters that the decision essentially locked out smaller groups, who could not raise the funds to attract the requisite number of members. On the RKRP-RPK website, the group said that it would continue fighting [press release, in Russian] to achieve political acceptance.

According to the RKRP-RPK, 16 political parties have so far had their party status revoked by the Russian Federal Registration Service [official website, in Russian], which regulates Russia's political parties. In March, both the Republican Party [party website, in Russian; JURIST report] and the Russian Peace Party [JURIST report] were shut down by the Supreme Court. The Social Democratic Party of Russia, the country's oldest political party, was shut down in April [JURIST report] for failure to follow other Registration Service regulations. The Moscow Times has more.

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