[JURIST] Former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov [personal website, in Russian; JURIST news archive] lost an appeal in the Moscow Court Tuesday to force Russian authorities to register his People for Democracy and Justice [party website, in Russian] party. Russian officials refused to register the party, alleging that the official party membership roster contained invalid names and violated various regulations. Kasyanov denied the existence of any problems with the party's registration materials. A group of opposition parties that included People for Democracy and Justice said they would appeal the ruling to the European Court of Human Rights [official website]. RIA Novosti has more.
Last year, 16 political parties had their party status revoked by the Russian Federal Registration Service [official website, in Russian], which regulates Russia's political parties. In March 2007, both the Republican Party [party website, in Russian; JURIST report] and the Russian Peace Party [JURIST report] were shut down by the Supreme Court. The Social Democratic Party of Russia, the country's oldest political party, was shut down in April 2007 [JURIST report] for failure to follow other Registration Service regulations. Critics have alleged that the Russian government is using a 2004 law that establishes minimum membership numbers for political parties to clamp down on opposition.