ST. PETERSBURG, April 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he hopes that the mechanism of primaries before the elections to the State Duma lower house of parliament will reveal the real problems of citizens and those who are able to solve them. "We introduce this preliminary vote as a tool for the settlement of several problems at a time," he said at the All-Russian People’s Front’s (ONF) media form. "Firstly, it makes the whole life of a non-governmental organization, of a political party, more transparent and close to the people."
"The party functionaries must feel what is going on the society, and such open discussions, debates reveal the real problems that people are facing", the Russian head of state said.
He added that this system "will push to the top the people who are interested and willing to work in society’s interests, including in the country's highest legislative body."
Russia’s 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.