PARTY INSTITUTION

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DMITRY MEDVEDEV DOES NOT RULE OUT THE POSSIBILITY OF JOINING A POLITICAL PARTY

Dmitry Medvedev: The president is beyond and above political parties at this point but it will change one day.


“As matters stand, office of the president is an institution beyond and above political parties but it will change one day,” President Dmitry Medvedev told United Russia functionaries in Barvikha.

According to Duma deputy Alexander Khinshtein who was present at the audience, the acting legislation permits the president to join a political party any moment. As a matter of fact, the issue was first raised in late 2007 when Medvedev was but a potential candidate for president yet, but the consensus then was that the president should remain above political wars. “We respect this position, of course. Still, I’m not going to deny that we would dearly like to see the president in United Russia ranks,” Khinshtein added.

Valery Ryazansky, senior assistant leader of the United Russia faction, suggested that the president would probably join some political party or other when the political system in Russian became stronger. “That’s what he himself said,” Ryazansky added. Asked what president, incumbent or next, United Russia expected to apply for membership, Ryazansky replied that the ruling party would like to see the incumbent head of state in its ranks.

Medvedev’s Press Secretary Natalia Timakova meanwhile said that his position with regard to membership in political parties was unchanged. The president may ponder membership in a political party when the political system in the country has been strengthened.

Addressing United Russia functionaries, Medvedev reminded the ruling party of its responsibilities that were about to attain additional importance in connection with nomination of governors. “There are some forces that wouldn’t mind taking a ride along with the party and hopefully making some money,” the president warned. “In any event, it is the president and not the party that will make the final decision. There should be no illusions on that score.”

Purity of United Russia ranks is always a matter of importance, Ryazansky agreed. Considering United Russia’s new powers, control over personnel should be tightened, Khinshtein said and added that there should be no people with obscure past and dubious present in the party.

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