Russia determined to build real democracy – parliament speaker

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Interfax – HELSINKI. April 3, 2013) Russia is determined to build “a full-scale democratic society,” said State Duma Chairman Sergei Naryshkin.

“Undoubtedly, building a democratic society is a very complex, very large-scale social and political project in any country, and there are hardly any naive people in this audience who believe that such a project can be carried out at the flick of a switch,” Naryshkin said at a meeting in Helsinki on Wednesday.

“We ardently adhere to the idea of building a full-scale democratic society. Of course, I won’t try to gloss over the fact that a mega project like this has its adversities, as it would in any other country. But we will not swerve from the road that we have chosen,” he said, adding that post-Soviet Russia is a little over 20 years old.

Fundamental democratic principles are enshrined in the Russian Constitution, he pointed out. Moreover, last year the State Duma passed draft laws to introduce direct gubernatorial elections and simplify registration rules for political parties, he said.

He claimed that Russia’s political environment had changed a great deal since then. Political parties set up and registered over the past few months have grown in number to more than 60, he said.

“We realize that this has adversities to it as well. But it’s obvious that it is simply a necessary stage in the development of the political system because the world outlook of Russian society has become more diverse and multicolored, and this variety of color reflects the diversity of political views and, as a consequence, the number of political parties,” Naryshkin said.