The Cossack Party of the Russian Federation became the 58th political party officially registered in the country, the Ministry of Justice said on its website on Thursday.
Alexander Smirnov, a retired major general, is the head of the party, which was founded in late November 2012.
The party’s registration became possible after a new law cutting the minimum number of party members from 40,000 to only 500 came into effect last April.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union’s one-party system in 1991, a number of political parties (including some with exotic names like the Beer Party) quickly emerged, only to disappear.
Until 2004, the minimum number of party members was 10,000. Since then, it was gradually increased.
In its platform, the party says it is going to participate in elections at all levels. Under the current legislation, a party needs the support of five percent of voters to win seats in parliament.
A number of Cossack societies, mainly comprised of the descendants of original Cossacks, operate in Russia and abroad under the aegis of a special presidential council created in 2009.
Special Cossack patrols help police to maintain order in some cities, mainly in southern Russia.
© The Moscow Times. 31 January, 2013