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Ryzhkov's Republican Party to Regain Official Status

The Republican Party of Russia, formerly led by opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov, will again be registered by the Justice Ministry after being stripped of its official status in 2007, party co-chair Valentina Melnikova said Friday.

In April, the party won a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that the Supreme Court's order to strip the party of its registration in May 2007 had been unlawful. In January, the Supreme Court reversed its decision, though the Justice Ministry appealed.

On Friday, Melnikova said the party had come to an agreement with the Justice Ministry, which Melnikova said has dropped its objections to registering the party.

"Since the Justice Ministry has withdrawn its complaint and followed the decision of the European court, we have concluded an agreement, and the Republican Party will return to the state that existed before this conflict," Melnikova said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Ryzhkov complained to President Dmitry Medvedev at a recent meeting between the head of state and opposition leaders that the Justice Ministry was not abiding by the decisions of the human rights court and the Supreme Court. Medvedev allegedly promised to order the Justice Ministry to resolve the conflict, Ryzhkov said, RIA-Novosti reported.

After December's controversial State Duma elections, which were followed by a series of mass opposition protests, Medvedev proposed a package of political reforms that included easing the registration rules for political parties, a long-time opposition demand.

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