MOSCOW, February 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian lawmakers supported on Wednesday the key, second reading of the presidential bill on mixed-member system of parliamentary election. The house voted 354-92 to support the new legislation.
Out of 600 amendments, lawmakers passed 221.
The concept of the president-proposed bill initially allowed all parties to participate in parliamentary elections without any restrictions or signature collection, but lawmakers urged requirements for registration of the federal list in the form of "voter support" proven by winning seats in the latest election to the State Duma or regional legislative assembly or signatures in support of the candidate.
A party is not required to gather signatures if its federal list during the latest election campaign netted at least 3% of votes or if its representatives won seats in at least one regional legislative assembly.
The parties which do not meet these requirements have to gather at least 200,000 of voters' signatures in different regions. The number of signatures in each province should not exceed 7,000.
Candidates in single constituencies from a party which secures the required number of votes and registers its federal list are exempt from signature collection.
Other "majority" candidates will have to gather at least 3 percent of votes of the electorate registered in their district. If the population in a given area is below 100,000, they have to gather at least 3,000 signatures.
Experts, whose comments were carried by a number of media outlets said that despite the introduction of the amendment, a number of parties will be able to run in the election aside from the four parties represented in the Russian parliament /United Russia, KPRF, A Just Russia and LDPR/. These parties are Yabloko, Patriots of Russia, Rodina, RPR-Parnas, Right Cause, Civil Platform, Russian Pensioners' Party For Justice and Communists of Russia.
The bill commits the candidates to giving up all foreign assets and bank accounts and bans persons with criminal convictions for serious and very serious crimes from running in the election for ten and 15 years, respectively.
The number of candidates on election list should not be below 200 and over 400.
The new legislation keeps the 5% barrier to the State Duma for political parties and the ban on election blocs.
The first reading of the bill was approved on April 16, 2013. Under the concept, half the seats in the federal legislative chamber, the State Duma, are elected in single seat districts and the other half are elected from party lists allocated by proportional representation.
The State Duma might review the 3rd reading of the document on February 14.