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United Russia to determine candidates for election to State Duma in preliminary vote

May 22, 5:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A preliminary vote to select candidates of the party for September elections to the State Duma, lower house of parliament, is to held across the country on Sunday
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© Станислав Красильников/ТАСС

MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. A preliminary vote to select candidates of the United Russia party for September elections to the State Duma, lower house of parliament, is to held across the country on Sunday.

The practice of pre-selection of candidates to participate in elections is not new for the United Russia. However, during the last federal election campaign, a different procedure was used for such a preliminary voting, Andrei Isayev, Deputy Secretary of the General Council of the United Russia told TASS.

"It was electors, party activists, representatives of public organizations who voted. Now it is the first time when we going to hold public primaries across the country, when any citizen can come to a polling station and vote for certain candidates of the United Russia," he said.

Experts note that the difference in the procedure is one of the factors making the preliminary vote of the United Russia fundamentally different from traditional primaries, which are an component, first of all, of the American political culture.

"There is nothing in common between the primaries, which are held on the US presidential elections, and the pre-voting, in this particular case we talks about the United Russia," Alexey Martynov, director of the International Institute of the Newest States, said.

According to him, in both cases it concerns a certain rating process, selection of standout candidates.

"Another issue is that the US primaries in the presidential election is a purely inner-event, only party members and party delegates vote. At the same time the preliminary vote of the United Russia on May 22 is a public event, voting is open to all citizens," the analyst said.

The essence of early voting is that everyone - a member of the United Russia, or an independent candidate takes part in the open rating vote and during that procedure receives evaluation from ordinary voters.

The United Russia finds it an effective way of selecting the strongest candidates, public opinion leaders who could take part in the elections to the State Duma, securing it a good result. In other words, the party consults with citizens in making its choice.

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