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Duma may approve first reading of bill on returning none-of-the-above ballot option Jan 17

January 13, 2014, 12:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW
If the bill is enacted the none-of-the-above ballot option will be put on ballot papers at elections of municipal, regional levels and elections of deputies in the State Duma
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© ITAR-TASS Archive/Vitaly Ivanov

MOSCOW, January 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The committee of constitutional legislation and state construction in State Duma lower house of parliament recommended the State Duma to approve first reading of a bill bringing back the none-of-the-above ballot option in ballot papers at elections in Russia.

The lower house of parliament was proposed to consider this issue on Friday, January 17.

The bill was initiated by a group of members of Federation Council upper house of parliament headed by its chair Valentina Matviyenko on October 16, 2013.

If the bill is enacted the none-of-the-above ballot option will be put on ballot papers at elections of municipal, regional levels and elections of deputies in the State Duma. An explanatory note to the document underlined that the return of the none-of-the-above ballot option will permit to fulfil more completely equal suffrage rights set in the Constitution and to express their will more accurately to the voters.

The none-of-the-above option which had earlier existed at Russian elections was cancelled in 2006. In September 2013 opening an autumn session of the upper house of parliament Matviyenko proposed to ponder the return of the none-of-the-above ballot option. “The latest elections (on September 8) showed that we live in new political conditions amid growing political competition,” she said then. “Let’s think about and discuss the expediency of bringing back the none-of-the-above ballot option,” she noted.

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