Gorbachev plans to revive former party

Gorbachev plans to revive former party

 Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, whose Social-Democratic Party was dissolved in 2007 due to its small membership, is planning to revive the party but does not want to lead it again, an official said.

"Gorbachev has spoken about his intention to start the revival of the party, although he has no plans to lead it. He only wants to help with its revival," said Vladimir Polyakov, press-secretary of the Gorbachev Foundation.

Polyakov said it was too early to speak about the future leadership or composition of the party, as Gorbachev had just invited those who share social-democratic views to submit their proposals to his foundation.

Gorbachev founded the Social-Democratic Party in November 2001. It was a coalition of several social democratic parties and had 12,000 members but no seats in the Russian State Duma.

Gorbachev resigned as party leader in May 2004 over a disagreement with party chairman Konstantin Titov who insisted, despite Gorbachev's opposition, on a deal with the pro-Kremlin United Russia Party in the previous year's general election.

On April 13, 2007, the party was dissolved due to its small membership.
A majority of the party's base has regrouped under the banner of Union of Social-Democrats, a new group led by Gorbachev.

The lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has approved a law easing registration procedure for political parties.

The new law will reduce the minimum number of members for a single party from 40,000 to 500 people.

The justice ministry has said it has already received about 70 applications for the registration of new political parties.