Political parties in Russia
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Politics and government of
This article lists political parties in Russia. Russia has a multi-party system. Currently there are four parties that make up the federal parliament, the State Duma, with one dominant party (United Russia).
After Perestroika, in 1990s there were over 100 registered parties in Russia, but people elected in State Duma only a small number of parties. Since 2000, during Vladimir Putin's presidency, the number of parties very quickly decreased. Last years from 2008 to 2012 there were only 7 parties in Russia, and every new attempt to register new independent parties was blocked. The last registered party was government-organized Right Cause. Before 2011 parliamentary elections, about 10 opposition parties were refused in registration. But after a series of mass protests and thanks to a 2011 European Court decision on Case of the Republican Party of Russia, the law was changed and the number of registered parties quickly increased to more than 48 in December 2012. About 200 parties are in creation stage (as 2012) according to the Justice Ministry website.
After the dissolution of the Supreme Soviet, and the adoption of the new constitution in October 1993, the first multiparty elections took place in the Russian Federation in December 1993. Numerous political parties and movements were set up during the early days of the new Russian state. There were, however, a number of difficulties for parties that greatly hindered them in reaching the voters. Lack of money was one large problem, but also the widespread negative association towards parties by the public.
Political parties were associated by many with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and its totalitarian methods. The result was that parties and political organisations were concentrated on individuals with a personal following. Some observers have noted that political entrepreneurs tend to see parties merely as instrumental and therefore invest very little in strengthening party organisations, but instead rely on their own informal network.
Until the beginning of the 2000s Russia’s political parties were very fractured and institutionalised. In particular the frequent change of party labels and the merging of various parties into wider platforms reduced the clarity of party ideology. As a consequence, parties failed to aggregate social interests, represent specific constituencies, structure votes during elections, or serve as intermediaries between state and society. After the 2003 parliamentary elections it became evident that party competition would for the next elections concentrate on two parties, United Russia and the Communist Party. Research has also made clear that contrary to the 1990s, voters no longer choose parties based solely on the personalities of party leaders. Rather voters are choosing parties based on assessments of economic performance and a general evaluation of the incumbent president.
The key legislation governing the formation and registration of political parties in Russia is the Federal Law "On political parties" of 11 July 2001, No.95. This law defined a political party as an organization that consistently takes part in elections, has a membership of at least 10,000 and branches in at least 50 regions, with each branch having a membership of at least 100. An amended version of the law which came into force at the beginning of January 2006 requires each political party to have a minimum of 50,000 members and more than 45 regional branches with a minimum membership of 500 each. In the discussion on amending the law on parties, the question of state funding was also raised. Before the 2004 amendments, electoral associations were entitled to modest compensation of their campaign expenses. The previous party law envisaged permanent state funding for parties that obtained at least 3% of the list vote in Duma elections or had at least single-member district candidates elected.
On early 2012 in response to the protests that came following the 2011 State Duma elections, President Dmitry Medvedev initiated a bill that rolls back some of the more stringent restrictions. It reduced the number of members required for registration from 40,000 to 500, lessens the restrictions on party activities, and shortens the registration process itself. Supporters of the bill maintained that the bill represents a drastic democratization of the country's election laws. After approved by the two houses of the Federal Assembly of Russia, it was signed into law by President Medvedev in early May.
Social composition of voters 
Regarding the social composition of party voters, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation has mainly been supported by people with low incomes and low levels of education, especially pensioners. Its rather elderly members tend to live in medium-sized towns and have limited access to organizational networks. Supporters of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia show similar characteristics, and are moreover primarily male. Right Forces and Fatherland – All Russia both receive support from a larger group of well-educated people, mainly female, mostly living in big cities with access to large organisational networks. Right Forces stood out as receiving support from younger voters but also from urban professionals with high incomes, which was also the case for Fatherland – All Russia.
According to studies, United Russia voters in 2007 were younger and more market-oriented than the average voter. The party's electorate includes a substantial share of government employees, pensioners and military personnel, who are dependent on the state for their livelihood. Sixty-four percent of United Russia supporters are female. According to researchers[who?], this could be because women place a great value on stability. In the run-up to the 2011 Duma elections, it was reported that support for United Russia was growing among young people.
Registered parties 
All parties registered by the Ministry of Justice have the right to participate in any elections all over the country. The list is placed on the Justice Ministry website. On December 2012 there are 48 registered parties in Russia, 4 of them are currently represented in the State Duma.
Currently represented in the State Duma 
|Conservatism, Statism, Pragmatism, Centrism||Dmitry Medvedev||238|
|Communist Party of the Russian Federation
Коммунистическая партия Российской Федерации
|Communism, Marxism–Leninism, Patriotism||Gennady Zyuganov||92|
|Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
Либерально-Демократическая Партия России
|Russian nationalism, Pan-Slavism, Neo–Imperialism||Vladimir Zhirinovsky||56|
|A Just Russia
|Social democracy, Democratic socialism||Nikolai Levichev||64|
All currently registered parties 
Parties without official registration 
Parties currently in creation 
Active unregistered parties 
- Pirate Party of Russia
- Russian People's Democratic Union (Российский народно-демократический союз, Rossiiskyi narodno-demokratichesky soyuz)
- The Other Russia
- Russian Communist Workers' Party – Revolutionary Party of Communists (Российская Коммунистическая Рабочая Партия – Революционная Партия Коммунистов, Rossiiskaja Kommunističeskaja Rabočaja Partija – Revolyutsionnaja Partija Kommunistov)
- All-Union Communist Party Bolsheviks (Всесоюзная Коммунистическая партия большевиков, ВКПБ, Vsesoyuznaya Kommunisticheskaya Partiya bol'shevikov, VKPb)
- Alliance of the Revolutionary Socialists (Союз революционных социалистов, СРС, Soyuz Revolutsionnykh Sotsialistov, SRS)
- Democratic Union (Демократический Союз, Demokraticheskiy soyuz)
- Great Russia (Великая Россия, Velikaya Rossiya)
Historical parties 
- Merged into United Russia:
- Merged into A Just Russia:
- People's Party of the Russian Federation (Народная партия Российской Федерации, Narodnaya partiya Rossiyskoy Federatsii)
- Rodina or Motherland-National Patriotic Union (Партия "РОДИНА", Rodina - Narodno-Patrioticheskiy Soyuz)
- Russian Party of Life (Российская партия жизни, Rossiyskaya Partiya Zhizni)
- Russian Pensioners' Party (Российская партия пенсионеров, Rossiyskaya Partiya Pensionerov)
- United Socialist Party of Russia (Социалистическая единая партия России, Sotsialisticheskaya yedinaya partiya Rossii)
- Party of Social Justice (Партия социальной справедливости, Partiya Sotsial'noy Spravedlivosti)
- Russian Ecological Party "The Greens" (Российская экологическая партия «Зеленые», Rossiiskaya ekologicheskaya partiya "Zyelyonyye")
- Merged to form Right Cause:
- Merged into Communist Party of the Russian Federation:
- People's Union (Народный Союз, Narodnyi Soyuz)
- Merged into Patriots of Russia:
- Party of Peace and Unity (Российская политическая партия Мира и Единства, Rossiyskaya politicheskaya partiya Mira i Edinstva)
- Beer Lovers Party (Партия любителей пива, Partiâ lûbitelej piva)
- Conceptual Party Unity (Yedineniye)
- Russian Section of the Committee for a Workers' International (Социалистическое Сопротивление)
- Social Democratic Party of Russia (Социал-демократическая партия России, Social-Demokraticheskaya partiya Rossii)
- Christian Democratic Party of Russia (Российская Христианско-Демократическая партия)
- Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Коммунистическая партия Советского Союза, KPSS '92)
- Conservative Party of Russia (Консервативная партия России)
- Eurasia Party (Евразия, Yevraziya)
- Green Alternative (Зелёная Альтернатива)
- Green Russia (Зеленая Россия)
Banned parties in Russia 
- Communist Party of the Soviet Union
- National Bolshevik Party (Национал-большевистская партия, Natsional-bol'shevitskaya partiya)
- Hizb ut-Tahrir (Хизб ут-Тахрир)
Soviet parties 
- Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Коммунисти́ческая Па́ртия Сове́тского Сою́за, Kommunističeskaja Partija Sovetskogo Soujuza). Factions:
- Liberal Democratic Party of the Soviet Union
Parties of the Russian Empire 
- Constitutional Democratic Party (Российская Конституционно-демократическая партия, Rossiyskaya Konstitutsionno-demokraticheskaya partiya)
- Union of October 17
- Party of Democratic Reform
- Socialist-Revolutionary Party (Партия Социалистов-революционеров, Partija Socialistov-revoljucionerov)
- Popular Socialists
- Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Росси́йская Социа́л-Демократи́ческая Рабо́чая Па́ртия, Rossijskaja Social-demokrastičeskaja Rabočaja Partija). Factions:
- Polish Socialist Party
- Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania
- General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania, Poland and Russia
- Jewish Socialist Workers Party
Other historical parties 
- For Holy Russia (За Русь Святую, Za Rus’ Svyatuyu)
- Jewish Social Democratic Labour Party (Poalei Zion), a 1906-1928 Zionist socialist political party in Russia
- Pamyat (Память, Pamyat')
- People's National Party (Народная национальная партия, Narodnaya natsional'naya partiya)
- Russian Maoist Party (Российская маоистская партия, Rossiyskaya maoistskaya partiya)
- Russian Movement
- Russian National Socialist Party (previously Russian National Union) (Русская Национальная Социалистическая Партия, Russkaya Natsional'naya Socialisticheskaya partiya)
- Russian National Unity (Русское Национальное Единство, Russkoye Natsional'noye Yedinstvo)
- Union of Social Democrats (Союз социал-демократов)
- Communists of Russia (Коммунисты России)
- Russian Section of the Committee for a Workers' International (Социалистическое Сопротивление)
See also 
- Oversloot, Hans, and Ruben Verheul, ―Managing Democracy: Political Parties and the State in Russia, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Vol. 22, No. 3, September 2006, pp. 384.
- Oversloot, Hans, and Ruben Verheul, ―Managing Democracy: Political Parties and the State in Russia‖, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Vol. 22, No. 3, September 2006, pp. 386.
- Treisman, Daniel, "Presidential Popularity in a Hybrid Regime: Russia under Yeltsin and Putin", University of California, p.10.
- accessed English translation of the law
- "1st Party Registered Under New Rules in Russia". RIA Novosti. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- Russia Analytical Digest (102). University of Basel, Center for Security Studies Zürich, Forschungsstelle Osteuropa Bremen. 26 November 2011. pp. 2–6.
- Yevgeny Utkin. Seven parties, one virtually certain outcome Russia Beyond the Headlines. (2011-11-23)
- Монархическая партия РФ
- Минюст РФ: Политическая партия «Монархическая партия»
- Justice Ministry webpage about Russian political parties
- Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation webpage about Russian political parties