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United Russia party to hold forum for training participants in future primaries

March 27, 2016, 3:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is to deliver a speech at the forum on March 28

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, March 27 /TASS/. The United Russia party will hold an educational forum in Moscow on Sunday to train participants in preliminary party voting (primaries) with an aim to select candidates for elections to the Russian State Duma.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is to deliver a speech at the forum on March 28.

The United Russia party launched a special Kandidat (candidate) project in the Internet in December last year to train potential participants in the future party primaries. For the moment, more than 15,000 users have registered themselves on the portal.

The United Russia party has posted a series of lectures and other materials on the website for instruction by correspondence. The Kandidat forum will give its participants a chance to continue mastering these educational programs at seminars.

"The forthcoming forum is, first and foremost, intended for those who want to try their forces at the federal level for the first time. Nevertheless, we hope that about 30 incumbent deputies of the Russian State Duma - the participants in preliminary vote - will also take part in it," Russian State Duma Vice-Speaker Sergei Neverov, the secretary of the United Russia State Council, explained. Many deputies will participate in the forum as experts and lecturers.

The seminar will consist of lectures and discussions on several themes. "They include foreign policy, sociology, involvement of civil society in forming the agenda of regional development; efficient budget spending and fight against corruption; social policy; economic and industrial policy; housing and utilities; development of comfortable city environment; development of agriculture and provision of food security," Neverov went on to say.

This is a bloc of themes, which the participants in the preliminary voting will start debating as of April 2.

The forum’s participants will be able to test and try their forces in the so-called model debates. Olga Batalina, the deputy secretary of the United Russia General Council, explained that the talk was about "model debates", which were going to be organized in future.

According to Neverov, the number of participants in one Kandidat forum will vary from 320 to 350 people for the purpose of making conditions for the Kandidat participants more comfortable and the forum’s work maximum productive, interesting and effective.

He added that the United Russia party was planning to hold one more such forum at least. Further education and training will depend on what knowledge and skills the participants in future primaries will wish to gain. The party will create opportunities for them to receive advice e and consultations from experts.

"Our task is to provide the participants in the preliminary vote with all the necessary tools and instruments for establishing a dialogue with voters. We consider all of them, irrespective of whether a person win or shows the second or third result, to be our personnel reserve and our associates. Strong and ambitious candidates, who do not win the primaries, should have a chance of self-fulfillment,’ the secretary of the General Council of the United Russia party said.

Neverov said that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the party’s leader, would attend the forum on March 28.

Participation in preliminary vote is mandatory if a person wants to be nominated as a candidate to the Russian State Duma from the United Russia. The parliamentary elections will take place on September 18 this year on a mixed system. Primaries will also be necessary for contenders who wish to be included in the United Russia’s party ticket and for those who want to run as its candidates in one-seat constituencies.

The United Russia party launched a campaign to nominate candidates for the primaries on February 15. The registration is to be over before April 15. The candidates may include the United Russia party members or non-party members who do not have any financial instruments abroad.

The primaries will take place across Russia on May 22. The ballot will be secret and rated. It means that each voter will have the right to choose several candidates offered on the list. The party’s leadership hopes that it will help them to select the public opinion leaders.

The candidates will meet voters and take part in other events ahead of the primaries. A federal organizational committee as well as 85 regional committees, comprising the heads of the United Russia regional executive committees, will be set up for holding the preliminary vote. About a third of these members represent public associations and mass media or are the public opinion leaders.

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