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A Social Movement of Municipal Deputies Emerging in Moscow

Source: HRO.org (info), 15/03/12

· Electoral rights  · Freedom of association  · Moscow city & Moscow region

On 14 March, deputies to the Municipal Assemblies in Moscow submitted the registration documents for a new social movement called "the Council of Municipal Deputies". The movement will fight for increased autonomy in the localities, Mikhail Velmakin a deputy from the Otradnoye Municipal Assembly said on 15 March.

In addition to Velmakin, Pyotr Miloserdov, a former deputy at the Voikovskoye Municipal Assembly, and Zoya Shargatova a deputy from the Dorogomilovskoye Municipal Assembly have also made applications to the Ministry of Justice.

The movement will be created on the basis of the "Our City" initiative. The majority of its members joined the city's municipal assemblies at the recent elections. The movement's organisers believe they need to encourage the participation of activists from the municipal movement.

Within the framework of the new organisation the deputies are planning to coordinate their work, share their experience and also to carry out work on the legal documentation that will allow them to increase the powers of the municipal authorities. According to Kasparov.ru the organisers estimate that the new movement will unite over one hundred independent and opposition deputies.

As Velmakin noted, "The creation of a structure, where experience can be shared and the actions of deputies from the various different regions of Moscow can be coordinated, has been long overdue." And Miloserdov declared: "The Council of Municipal Deputies should propose to the Mayor's Office a "road map" for the creation of fully fledged autonomy in Moscow on behalf of all the independent and opposition deputies.

Shargatova expressed the opinion that: "it is very important to engage Muscovites in the business of local autonomy in the city and this newly created organisation could take up this role."

One third of the seats at the municipal elections in Moscow were won by opposition candidates. Of a total of 1,500 seats around 500 were won by representatives of the Communists, Yabloko, A Just Russia and independents.