United Russia supports Medvedev’s call for stronger competition
The head of United Russia’s central executive committee Andrey Vorobyov told Russia’s Echo Moskvy radio that Medvedev’s statement was absolutely clear to the party and that competition was a necessary condition for development in modern society. He added that a lack of competition should be considered a threat. “The opposition are not enemies for us, they are a different opinion. The higher the standards of criticism, the higher the effectiveness of decisions the authorities are making,” the United Russia official said. Vorobyav also highlighted President Medvedev’s initiatives that give more opportunities to opposition parties. He pointed out that although United Russia holds the overwhelming majority of seats in parliament it voted in favor of the bills that promoted the initiatives. The bills mentioned by Vorobyov were submitted after President Medvedev stressed the necessity to give more of a chance to smaller political parties in his address to the Federal Assembly in November last year. After he addressed parliament Medvedev prepared the corresponding amendments and in March this year they were duly submitted for approval, and were approved and signed. The changes allow the parties that received no seats in the federal parliament to take part in special plenary sessions and therefore still participate in political life. The amendments also enable political parties that collect five or more per cent of votes at federal elections to get places in regional parliaments without collecting signatures to prove their representation. This move should lead to larger representation of smaller parties in municipal legislative assemblies, currently also dominated by United Russia.