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State Duma’s opposition against majority election to Moscow City Duma

January 15, 2014, 22:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 15, 22:09 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s parliamentary opposition is outraged by the initiative to hold election to the Moscow City Duma in single-mandate constituencies only but the opposition parties will not surrender and will nominate their candidates in each such constituency, representatives of the opposition in the lower house of parliament said Wednesday.

“I’m confident this decision arose out of the feebleness of the powers that be,” first deputy chairman of the State Duma committee for state construction and the chairman of Moscow City branch of A Just Russia party, Alexander Ageyev, told Itar-Tass.

Confining elections to the majority system only undermines the foundations of party construction and “the authorities may outwit themselves” in the final run.

He said the party would definitely nominate its candidates in all the 45 single-mandate constituencies. “We hope for eight mandates as a minimum and we’re ready for that struggle.”

Members of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia /LDPR/ also plan to run for seats in the city legislature, Igor Lebedev, a deputy speaker of the State Duma told Itar-Tass. “We take part in absolutely all elections,” he said.

Lebedev described the system “where there is a struggle of individuals, not political platforms” as a vicious one for the development of the party system in Russia. “But we ourselves allowed to do this in Moscow and St Petersburg and now there’s no crying over spilt milk,” he said.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation /CPRF/, too, appears to oppose elections under the majority system only. MP Vadim Solovyov, a notable member of the party, told Itar-Tass the majority format will give unconditional advantages to the United Russia party in Moscow, as it will use all of its administrative levers to brush opposition candidates aside.

“There’s a really vast field for manipulations on the part of the power-wielding party but we’ll put up competition to it in each constituency all the same - we’ll work hard and struggle for the interests of each voter,” Solovyov said.

Earlier in the day, the Secretary of the United Russia party General Council, Sergei Neverov said that the party would nominate its candidates in all the constituencies, should election for the Moscow City Duma be held in single-mandate constituencies only.

“As for the election for the Moscow city legislature, our party will nominate its candidates in all the constituencies if a decision of this kind is taken,” he said Friday meaning a bill on a changeover to the majority system at elections that had been submitted to the Moscow City Duma.

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