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MOSCOW, October 14 (Itar-Tass) — Russia is holding a single voting day on Sunday. The country’s Central Elections Commission reports about 4,900 elections of different level and local referendums.
After an eight-year break, the political practice resumes elections of governors. Governors’ elections will be in Russia’s five territories: in Amur, Bryansk, Belgorod, Novgorod and Ryazan regions. Local parliamentary elections will be in the North Ossetia-Alania Republic, in Udmurtia, in Krasnodar Territory and in Penza, Saratov and Sakhalin regions.
An important feature of the elections campaign is that its background is a very active process of organisation of new parties, which became possible following liberalisation of the legislation. Deputy Head of the Central Elections Commission Leonid Ivlev said “candidates from 26 political parties will participate in the elections.” The figure is almost by seven times more than the seven parties in the country’s political arena over past years.
No doubt, the biggest interest is to elections of governors. It was a most fierce election campaign. As the regional court repealed registration of the Bryansk region’s acting governor, Denin, the entire territory was in limbo. On October 11 only, the Supreme Court repealed the decision of the counterparts in the Bryansk region. Practically speaking it meant the elections would take place. However, there will be only two candidates there. Thus, the Bryansk region became the only territory where the elections may be completed in just one round and where the winner needs to gain simple majority of the votes. In order to win, candidates in the other four regions will have to receive support from over 50 percent plus one vote.
The ballots in governors’ elections in the Amur, Belgorod and Ryazan regions have four names to choose from. The ballot in the Novgorod region contains three names. Totally, 17 candidates from six political parties will compete for five governor seats. The parties represent the State Duma’s ‘big four’ /United Russia, the Communists, the Liberal-Democratic Party and A Just Russia/, as well as Right Course and Patriots of Russia. In other words, there are no newcomers in the elections. Candidates from LDPR / the Liberal-Democratic Party/ compete in four regions, those from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation – in three, Right Course and Patriots of Russia are represented in two regions, and A Just Russia – in one.
Much more active were regional campaigns. Russia’s Central Elections Commission said over 3,000 candidates of over 20 political parties are fighting for seats in local parliaments. Plus, almost 1,150 single-seat candidates, who also had been nominated by various parties. All the four State Duma parties’ candidates participate in all six regions.
Twelve candidates are registered for the election of Kaliningrad’s mayor. Experts forecast active competition at municipal elections in the Moscow region, especially in the city of Khimki, where 13 candidates are running for the position of mayor.
Traditionally, results of the voting will be calculated in the Central Elections Commission’s information centre. The commission said by 10:00 Moscow time on October 15 they would have processed the major part of preliminary data. Official results will be made in local election commissions in the regions.
The single voting day will have a different timing from now on. Regional elections will be organised only once a year – on the second Sunday in September. Thus, the voting day will be truly single, and in 2013 it will be on September 8.