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State Duma to discuss reinstatement of entry "Against all the above" in ballot-papers

January 17, 2014, 5:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The bill was referred to the House for consideration by a group of members of the FC upper house of parliament, headed by Matviyenko
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© ITAR-TASS/Aleksandr Rumin

MOSCOW, January 17, /ITAR-TASS/. The State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament will consider the first reading of an amendment about reinstatement of the entry "Against all the above" in ballot-papers at elections in Russia.The bill was referred to the House for consideration by a group of members of the Federation Council (FC) upper house of parliament, headed by House Speaker Valentina Matviyenko.

The FC members suggested introducing amendments to the Laws "On Ensuring the Constitutional Rights of the Citizens of the Russian Federation to Elect and be Elected to Local Self-Government Bodies", "On Basic Guarantees of the RF Citizens' Electoral Rights and the Right to Participate in a Referendum", and "On Elections of Deputies to the State Duma of the RF Federal Assembly".

The suggested amendments envisage reinstating in the ballot-papers the entry on voting against all the candidates or party tickets. The concept of the bill is that the protest-voting entry must be reinstated to the ballot-papers at municipal and regional elections and at elections to the State Duma.

The bill was recommended for adoption in the first reading by the committee on constitutional legislation and State development. However, in their resolution, the FC members expressed doubt in the advisability of reinstating the entry "Against all the above" at Federal and regional elections.

Committee Chairman Vladimir Pligin told Itar-Tass that he does not object to protest voting at municipal elections. He did not rule it out that by the second reading of the bill there may appear appropriate amendments reinstating the entry "Against all the above" only for municipal elections.

In the opinion of experts at the Civil Society Development Foundation headed by Konstantin Kostin is that reinstatement of the entry may become an effective instrument precisely at the local level, as a sort of "barrier to various kinds of clan or other corporate and 'family' schemes of control over this or that municipal entity".

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