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MOSCOW, September 21 (Itar-Tass) — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said half of the candidates on the preliminary election list of the United Russia party are new persons. The Party leader was speaking at a session of the federal coordinating council of the All-Russia People's Front (ONF).
"The election list is composed by the results of preliminary national vote. We engaged the mechanism and public communications of the people's Front in full measure in order to carry it out. This enabled us to identity and propose a list of good and needed persons," Putin said.
According to the United Russia leader, almost 360 people (of the 600 on the list) are those who will run in the federal parliamentary elections for the first time. They include teachers and doctors, business persons and workers, servicemen and farmers, and cultural workers.
"They know what life is without exaggerations, they feel the problems that worry the society and citizens, and are ready -- as I've said -- to offer concrete ways of settling them, realize their ideas in legislative initiatives and in our legislative basis," Putin said.
According to him, about one third of the candidates are not United Russia members.
"We considerably expanded the opportunities for independent candidates to get seats in the State Duma. Frankly speaking, I didn’t expect to see 185 independent candidates on our list as of September 20.
The list of candidates was drawn by the results of primaries carried out by Untied Russia jointly with the All-Russia People's Front.
The list is to be finalized at United Russia's Congress in Moscow on September 23-24.
Putin said the list contains 167 incumbent lawmakers. "We preserved succession of parliamentary work. I'm hoping it will keep because ultimately, it is up to our voters to choose," he said. He assured that those whose terms are expiring would benefit others with their experience.