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MOSCOW, September 7. /TASS/. Russia’s Central Election Commission is prepared to hold elections to the State Duma due on September 18, its head Ella Pamfilova said on Wednesday.
"My colleagues and I believe that we are ready for the September 18 elections," Pamfilova stressed.
"The election legislation - despite a number of certain moments that we constantly criticize - enables holding competitive, open and legitimate elections," said Pamfilova, Russia’s former human rights commissioner.
The current laws allow all political forces and self-nominated candidates to participate in the polls, she stressed.
Over 103,000 candidates have been registered for the upcoming elections at all levels. Some 32 candidates will contend for the top posts of federal subjects in Russian regions.
Elections to the 450-seat State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, will be held under a mixed system: 225 lawmakers will be elected in one-seat constituencies and another 225 will be elected by party tickets. In addition to the State Duma elections, 39 regions will elect their legislative assemblies, while seven constituent regions will hold direct elections of their top officials. Municipal elections will be also held in about 5,000 constituencies.
Russia’s Central Election Commission and the Interior Ministry have taken "unprecedented measures" to ensure public order and security on Election Day and the ballot stations have been provided with special technical resources, Pamfilova said.
Some 691 international observers have been accredited for monitoring Russia’s State Duma elections. "This is more than in 2011 and will be clearly more as we continue receiving the applications," she said. A total of 52 long-term observers from international organizations are currently working in Russia’s regions.
Russia’s top election authority has sent invitations to 42 foreign election commissions and four of them have already accepted them. Observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Association of World Election Bodies, the embassies of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the European Union have been invited. The invitations were also sent by Russia’s Foreign Ministry and the State Duma.
More than 2,600 journalists have received accreditations to cover the elections. Another 1,000 journalists have been accredited to work at the Central Election Commission’s information center, Pamfilova said.
On June 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on holding the elections. The official election campaign began on that day.