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MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin in a special message to the nation has called upon all voters to go and exercise their right to vote. Putin said that participation in the election was a "civic duty of each Russian" and a "manifestation of sincere feelings towards one’s country."
"It depends entirely upon you, Russian citizens, what a future parliament will be like. I am certain that all of us are interested in delegating to the State Duma only decent, competent, energetic and honest people capable of acting on the people’s will and rising to their expectations and ensuring stability, development and national accord, who are prepared to stay united in safeguarding the interests of Russia," Putin said. "I am urging you to come to the polling stations and to vote and express your position."
Putin recalled that on September 18 Russian voters would be electing a new State Duma, and in many regions of the country there would be held elections of legislative assemblies and heads of executive bodies of power. The Russian leader said that all participants in the election campaign had enjoyed equitable conditions for open and fair electioneering and for expressing their attitude to various issues and proposing ways of their solution while the voters had a chance to impartially evaluate and compare programs, goals and achievements of political parties and candidates.
In particular, Putin said that irrespective of political likes and dislikes voters’ participation in the election procedure would be a "manifestation of sincere feelings towards their country" and "care about its future."
"I am certain that whatever political views we may adhere to, participation in the voting is a civic duty of each of us," he said. "Make your choice and vote for Russia."
The State Duma elections are due on September 18. They will be held under a mixed pattern. Half of the legislators, 225, will be elected on party tickets, and another 225, in single-member constituencies. On the same day voters will elect the members of legislative assemblies in 39 regions of the country. Seven territories will see direct elections of top executive officials. Also, another 5,000 municipal election campaigns are due. A total of 38,000 vacancies are to be filled. More than 103,000 candidates will participate.