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MOSCOW, October 18 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) on Tuesday registered the electoral list of the United Russia party. Thus, the ruling party has been formally included in the number of participants in the elections to the sixth State Duma lower house of parliament.
Only one candidate is included in the federal part of the list - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. He came to the CEC on Tuesday for the list’s registration.
All in all, the list that was earlier certified by the Central Election Commission includes 597 candidates for seats in the Duma distributed among 80 regional groups.
However, the parliamentary majority party is distinguished from other election participants not only by the federal part of the list, but also by its composition. For the first time eight regional groups are headed by members of the RF government. They are First Deputy Prime Ministers Igor Shuvalov (Primorsky Territory) and Viktor Zubkov (Volgograd region), Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin (Stavropol Territory), Vyacheslav Volodin (Saratov Region) Alexander Zhukov (Kaliningrad region), Dmitry Kozak (St. Petersburg), as well as Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev (Perm Territory) and Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu (Krasnoyarsk Territory). In addition, in the Leningrad region United Russia members are led to the elections by chief of the RF presidential administration Sergei Naryshkin.
This time, the United Russia party members formed the list during the primaries – preliminary voting within the All-Russia Popular Front (ONF), initiated by the party leader Vladimir Putin. As a result, the list included 416 members and 183 non-partisans. Moreover, a number of “new recruits” have been given “passing” places.
United Russia was the last from the parliamentary “quartet” to complete the procedure of registration of its candidates. Earlier, the CEC registered the election lists of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) and Just (Fair) Russia.
As for the three non-parliamentary parties, they have just started this procedure by submitting to the CEC signatures in support of their candidates’ lists. Last weekend, documents for registration and signature lists were submitted by the Right Cause party, on Monday, October 17 - by the Yabloko party, and Patriots of Russia are submitting their registration documents on Tuesday. The Central Election Commission will make the decision on registration or denial of registration after careful checks of the signature sheets, which, in accordance with the law, should contain no more than 5 percent of “defects,” that is, citizens’ signatures that the CEC has the right to recognise “unauthentic.” A 10-day period is given for checking the signature lists. Thus, all the participants in the election campaign will be known by the end of next week.
In order to be registered, non-parliamentary parties, such as Yabloko, Patriots of Russia, and Right Cause, must collect 150,000 signatures in more than half of Russian regions, while the four parliamentary parties, or United Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and Just Russia, do not have to do that, under law.
According to the Yabloko press service, the party has managed to collect 203,000 signatures in 74 Russian regions.
The Central Election Commission stops receiving documents for registration at 18:00 Moscow time on October 19, then it will have ten days to pass its decision. It means that the parties that would vie for the 450 seats in the State Duma will be announced no later than October 30. The registration of the election list is a key procedure in the election race. With its list registered, a party becomes an official participant in the election campaign, and its nominees are awarded the status of candidates.
Elections to the sixth Russian State Duma will be held on December 4, 2011.
Earlier, United Russia published a pre-election message on its official website. The document, addressed to the citizens of Russia, is based on policy statements by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the leader of United Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the party's election congress, held on September 24. It includes eight theses by Medvedev that Putin elaborated on. “The focus of our attention is the individual,” says the title of one of the first sections of the document. The strategy of the party, according to Medvedev, is based on the modernisation of the economy, on uprooting corruption, strengthening the judicial system, maintaining interethnic and inter-religious peace, and on the further development of the country’s political system. United Russia is also going to take care of internal and external security of the country and conduct "an independent, sensible foreign policy.”
United Russia is the largest party in the country, currently holding 315 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties. Ideologically, it self-identifies as a “Russian conservative” party, and it supports the policies of the presidential administration of Dmitry Medvedev.