Medvedev ready to head political party in future

President Dmitry Medvedev in the office of Moskovskiye Novosti daily with the editor-in-chief Vladimir Gurevich on his right. (RIA Novosti / Dmitry Astakhov)
President Dmitry Medvedev believes that modern parties are an instrument to achieve political goals and predicts many Russian parties will have to rebrand themselves.

­Medvedev does not rule out the possibility that he might head a political party in the future, though he gave no specifics as to what party it might be. Presidents are well-equipped to lead any political party as a result of the great political experience they’ve already acquired, he said at a meeting with journalists of Moskovskiye Novosti daily on Wednesday.

“It would be easier to imagine me as a member of the Communist Party, I once was a member,” the president joked. But he added that “sooner or later” he would join a party. “Let me not name this party,” he said. Now it would be premature to say if this would be one of the preexisting parties in Russia, or “a party that I will create myself, or a union of several parties,” Medvedev noted.

The modern political parties are different from ones that existed in the 20th century, the president explained. “They are a means of achieving political goals. But I do not think it’s bad. The main goal is to enter the parliament and to defend certain positions there.”

The president also stressed that the political arena should change. “I’m almost certain that in the next ten years, most of our parties will have to rebrand themselves. We are not Great Britain, where the Tories and Whigs have existed for several centuries. And life is different now.”

One of the parties that is now in the process of rebranding is Right Cause – one that Medvedev has mentioned several times during interviews. If successful, it could bring liberal forces into the parliament. Medvedev said it was difficult to say now if people who believe the current political situation to be “stagnant” would support this party and a businessman like Mikhail Prokhorov, who is expected to become its leader.

At the same time, the head of state said he did not see any political motive in the recent Justice Ministry’s refusal to register another right-wing party – the People’s Freedom Party (Parnas). The ministry cited numerous mistakes in the party’s charter and other procedural violations, including listing minors and the dead amongst its members.

“Let them remove the ‘dead souls’ and then they will be registered,” Medvedev said. “One should not try to erroneously register a party… I think these citizens from Parnas are absolutely capable of providing faultless documents and submitting them to the Justice Ministry.”

The president said that the current system for the registration of political parties is going to be simplified. But while the current one exists, any party should observe it, he stressed.