MOSCOW, December 12 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed to return to a mixed system of elections to the State Duma lower house of parliament.
He said delivering his annual state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday that many experts propose to return to the “mixed system of elections - by party lists and in single-member constituencies.” “I agree with that,” Putin said.
In addition, he proposed to discuss the return of electoral blocs to the election legislation. “Let’s think about this question. It requires discussion and debate,” the president pointed out.
Putin also put forward the idea to give the members of the Federal Assembly - the deputies of the State Duma and the Federation Council upper house - the right of legislative initiative for the legislative assemblies of their regions.
He also pointed to the need to ensure equal access of political parties to the media. “The state must and will seek to ensure equal access (for parties) to the media,” the head of state said. He acknowledged that “this is not an easy task,” because after the introduction of new rules for the establishment and functioning of political parties in Russia, an active process of party-building started in the country: already 48 parties have been established and more than 200 organising committees have been created.
Putin raised the question of the development of a set of “rules of fair political competition.” In his view, the recognition of the unity, integrity and sovereignty of Russia, the exclusion of separatism from the political agenda must be a mandatory condition for the activity in the Russian political arena. “Direct or indirect interference from outside is unacceptable,” he stressed.
He also drew attention to the absolute inadmissibility of penetration of criminals in the bodies of authority. “It is already prohibited by law in our country, but still criminals are trying to worm themselves into them,” the president stated. “There is no and cannot be a place for criminals in politics,” Putin emphasised.