Opposition coalition submits documents for registration as Other Russia party

RIA Novosti / Mikhail Fomichev
A recently-formed coalition of opposition parties, headed by writer and politician Eduard Limonov, submitted the requisite documents for party registration to the Justice Ministry on Monday, Other Russia’s representative Aleksandr Averin said.

“Now we will wait for a political decision – whether the party will be registered,” he told Interfax news agency.

Many analysts expressed doubts that the “die-hard opposition group” will be registered after it held its congress on July 10. However, the would-be party’s program was later published by the government’s Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily in accordance with law.

If registered, Other Russia may take part in the 2011 parliamentary elections. Limonov has also announced his plans to run for the presidency in 2012. “We want to create a party with a lot of members and take part in elections at all levels,” he said.

So far, the members of the coalition have largely been involved in unauthorized anti-government actions and rallies. Limonov stands behind the Strategy 31 initiative put forward to stage rallies on the last day of months that have 31 days. It has organized several rallies on Triumfalnaya Square in downtown Moscow, which were routinely dispersed by police. However, the organization’s leadership has hinted at the desire to take part in legal forms of political struggle.

According to Limonov, Other Russia has created branches in 45 regions – one of the main requirements for the party to be registered. The Justice Ministry is expected to register the party or reject the submission within a month. Limonov’s first party, the National-Bolshevik Party, had earlier been banned by a court order. The Other Russia coalition unites political groups with differing political views. Many doubt it could become a strong base for a new party.

Meanwhile, Limonov will have to find new ways to organize rallies on Triumfalnaya Square. Human rights groups that used to participate in the Strategy 31 project want to agree future actions with the Moscow government after the last rally was authorized. Limonov, however, insisted that the authorities should allow more people to come to the square.

Last week, opposition groups led by Other Russia leader filed an application for a 2,500-strong rally on the square on December 31. Moscow Helsinki Group head Lyudmila Alekseeva want the Moscow government to allow 1,500 to gather on the square. In October, activists requested a 1,500-strong rally, but the Mayor’s Office gave permission to 800 people to gather. As a result, groups led by Limonov held a separate, unauthorized rally near one that was permitted.