MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. This year’s electoral campaign in Russia is characterized by particularly acute political competition, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told Izvestiya daily in an interview published on Thursday.
"We see how debates and discussions proceed, how acute the competition between parties, is," Matviyenko said adding that "this situation is completely different from five-ten years ago."
The speaker added that "even the most professional political analysts cannot predict with high accuracy the balance of powers in the future State Duma." "Yes, there are certain obvious things but it will hardly be absolutely predictable," she said. "The whole politically active part of the Russian society" closely follows the election campaign and "thinks about the political landscape" of the State Duma of the seventh convocation, Matviyenko continued. "(The new composition of the State Duma) will play a big role in determining the future of the country in the next five years," she noted.
The Federation Council speaker said that along with State Duma deputies, regional parliaments and heads of 46 Russian regions will be elected. "This means that almost one third of senators will be re-appointed," she added noting that "some of current senators will retain their powers thanks to their effective work in the Federation Council and positive assessment of their activities by regions." "At the same time, new senators are expected to come as well," she concluded.
Elections to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of Parliament, will be held on September 18 in a split system: 225 members of parliament will be elected by party tickets, while the other 225 are going to be elected in one-seat constituencies.
More than 111 million people are eligible to vote in the election and no minimal turnout is required.
Fourteen parties will be on the election ballot: the United Russia party, the Communist Party of Russia, the Liberal Democratic Party, A Just Russia party, Russia’s Patriots, Civil Platform, the Green party, the Party of Growth, Parnas, Civil Power, Russia’s Communists, Yabloko, Rodina (Motherland) and the Russian Party of Pensioners for Justice. Parties have to pass the five-percent electoral threshold to receive any seats in the Duma.