Russia will allow a long-barred liberal political party to participate in elections for the first time in five years, its former head, one of the leaders of protests against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's 12-year rule, said on Friday.
Vladimir Ryzhkov said the Justice Ministry had given the Republican Party permission to register after a long court battle that began when it lost its legal status in 2007 as then-President Putin tightened his grip on electoral politics.
Faced with protests by tens of thousands of Russians asking for a stronger political voice, Putin has rejected demonstrators' demands for a rerun of a December's parliamentary election marred by fraud allegations.
However, he promised modest electoral reforms as he prepares to return to the presidency for a six-year term in May, including easing registration requirements to enable more parties to contest elections.
"This is a victory for common sense and justice," Ryzhkov, a former parliamentary deputy, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.
He said the party planned to contest regional elections later this year.
Ryzhkov led the Republican Party until it was barred from re-registering on the grounds that it fell short of size requirements, a rule that Kremlin opponents say has been used to sideline opposition groups.
The Republican Party was always a small force but its members had a dozen parliamentary seats in the early 1990s which it gradually lost during Putin's first term as president.
Only one new party has been registered since a 2007 election to the State Duma, the lower parliament house, in which Putin's United Russia party increased its sway.
United Russia held a two-thirds majority in the Duma until the vote last December, in which it lost dozens of seats despite allegations of fraud in its favour.
Last April, the Republican Party won a European Court of Human Rights ruling which found a Russian Supreme Court decision to bar the party unlawful.
Opposition leaders hope to gain a foothold in regional and municipal elections but largely dismiss the promised political reforms as window-dressing and believe Putin will hold tight to his dominance of politics.
The man, surnamed Cao and from the eastern city of Qingdao, is awaiting trial, state broadcaster CCTV said
The cabinet meeting witnessed heated discussions over the bill, which was backed by several right-wing lawmakers from the parties of Likud and Yisrael Beituna
A Palestinian man was killed by Israeli gunfire in northern Gaza Strip, another Palestinian man died of injuries he sustained earlier in the day when an unexploded Israeli ordnance went off in the West Bank's Jordan Valley area
Diplomats said a framework accord was still possible, but that weeks or months would then be needed to agree on the all-important details of how it would be implemented.
Paktika provincial spokesman Mukhles Afghan said at least 50 more were wounded in the attack in Paktika province
Around 51.5 percent of eligible voters participated in the parliamentary elections, while 53.7 percent participated in the municipal elections
The female Israeli settler had attacked the Palestinian woman outside the latter's house and sprayed her with the spray, leaving her with minor face and neck burns
Jalawla and Saadiya are located in Diyala province which is mainly under the control of the Baghdad government forces and Kurdish peshmerga.
One of the survivors said each migrant paid about $6,500 to human smugglers to escape the war in Syria in the hopes to reach Europe
Putin will meet Abkhazia's Raul Khadzhimba in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday to sign an "alliance and strategic partnership" agreement
Sisi told Italian daily Corriere della Sera the creation of a Palestinian state was the best way to protect Israeli security while restoring hope for the Palestinian people.
The prosecutors' decision to level a charge of manslaughter rather than murder drew criticism from the boy's father, who said the evidence showed the killing was pre-meditated
"We understand the fatality of an 'Iron Curtain' for us," Putin was quoted as saying the TASS news agency in an interview published
If one mentions “to forget or to ignore” somewhere as Muslim World, the first thing we would think of must be Kashmir
If one mentions “to forget or to ignore” somewhere as Muslim World, the first thing we would think of must be Kashmir. Therefore we have to remind Kashmir the most
Since 2009 Ampatuan Massacre nobody convicted and four witnesses slain