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Direct gubernatorial elections should be everywhere or nowhere – experts

January 25, 2013, 5:04 UTC+3
“The legal system must not be divided," Georgy Fyodorov, head of the Public Chamber’s working group for overseeing the electoral process said
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MOSCOW, January 25 (Itar-Tass) – Direct gubernatorial elections should be either everywhere or nowhere, Georgy Fyodorov, head of the Public Chamber’s working group for overseeing the electoral process, said on Thursday, January 24.

“The legal system must not be divided. The rules of the game should be the same in all regions in order to preserve stability and normal political development,” he said. “Therefore direct gubernatorial elections should be either introduced everywhere or abolished everywhere.”

According to Fyodorov, “such semi-measures as those proposed in the draft law can easily tip the balance”. “What will be the reaction of people in a region who for some reason have not been ‘trusted’ with gubernatorial elections? Which criteria should be used for assessing the situation in a region and who should make the assessment? There are more questions than there are answers,” he said.

“This is not North America where laws and the law enforcement practice in one state can be fundamentally at odds with the rules adopted in another state,” the expert said.

Earlier this week, the State Duma passed the first reading of the draft law that allows regions to decide whether to hold direct gubernatorial elections or not.

On July 1, 2012, a law restoring direct gubernatorial elections became effective in Russia. The first, after an eight-year break, direct gubernatorial elections were held in five Russian regions.

The draft law being debated in the Duma says that a governor “may be elected by members of the Legislative Assembly of the region”.

If adopted, the law will require gubernatorial candidates to be proposed by political parties represented in the Duma or the Legislative Assembly of the relevant region and then will be nominated by the Russian president on the basis of their proposals.

The parties will propose three or more candidates from which the president will choose his nominees.

 

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