MOSCOW, April 16 (Itar-Tass) – The Russian State Duma, or lower parliament house, on Tuesday passed a law re-imposing the mixed parliament election system - by both party tickets and in one-seat constituencies.
As many as 296 lawmakers voted in favour of the bill, 148 were against and one lawmaker abstained.
Under the new procedure, half of the lawmakers should be elected in 225 majority constituencies (one lawmaker – one constituency) and the other half, or 225, – by party tickets, Garri Minkh, the president’s representative at the lower parliament house, said presenting the bill. Candidates can be either self-nominated or nominated by political parties in their lists. “Candidates may be unaffiliated with any political parties but a party list may not contain more than 50 percent of such candidates. No party can nominate members of other parties or self-nominees,” Minkh said.
A party’s federal list may have at least 200 but no more than 500 names. A party’s federal list of candidates is divided into the federal and regional parts, and the federal part is optional. The federal part can include no more than 10 candidates, and the regional part (with the absence of the federal part - on the federal list) must have at least 35 regional groups of candidates. The regional part of the list should cover the whole territory of Russia.
No signature collection will be needed for the registration of the list and candidates in single-seat constituencies nominated by political parties. As for self-nominees, they are required to collect at least 0.5 percent of signatures of voters registered in the corresponding single-seat constituency, and if the constituency has less than 100,000 voters - at least 500 signatures.
According to Minkh, there will be to types of ballot papers - one for voting for party lists and the other - for voting in one-seat constituencies. “In case there are more than 20 party lists, or there are more than 30 candidates in a constituency, the ballot paper will be published in a format of a booklet,” he explained.
The new law preserves the election hurdle for parties to the State Duma – 5 percent of the vote. It does not envisage the creation of election coalitions.
The bill on the new procedure of the parliamentary elections of MPs was introduced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 1.
A total of 450 members are elected to the State Duma of the Russian Federation. Since 2007, the Duma elections have been held only by party tickets.