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Putin signs law on mixed election system of lower house of parliament

February 24, 2014, 11:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Election in the State Duma is to be held on new rules in 2016

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Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Druzhinin

MOSCOW, February 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on mixed election system of State Duma lower house of parliament with 225 deputies elected on party lists and 225 deputies elected in single-seat constituencies. The text of the law was posted on the official Internet portal of legal information.

The president has introduced a law concept for consideration in the lower house in the spring of 2013. Federation Council upper house of parliament has approved the document on February 19, 2014. Main provisions of the law will take effect after its official publication.

Election in the State Duma is to be held on new rules in 2016.

Presidential law set five percent election threshold for parties at election in the lower house of parliament, but leaves in force the ban on election blocs. Law envisages an option to include non-partisan candidates in a party list, but no more than 50 percent of all candidates on the list. A party list can include from 200 to 400 candidates. The federal part of the party list can consist of no more than 10 candidates, regional part should embrace all territory of Russia and include no less than 35 groups.

Candidates in single-seat constituencies can be self-nominees or representatives of parties. A chart of constituencies is made for 10 years, according to the new law. Russian Central Elections Commission is to prepare first such chart no later than September 5, 2015.

Law also sets criteria for permitting parties to run in elections. Parties should compulsorily be “supported by voters for running in election” that is confirmed by positive results of latest election in the State Duma or regional legislatures or by signup campaign results.

A party can be put on ballot papers without signup lists, if its federal list had gained no less than three percent of votes at previous election in the State Duma or if its lawmakers are members of at least one regional parliament. Parties that do not meet these requirements should gather no less than 200,000 signatures, meanwhile, no more than 7,000 signatures should be collected in one federal constituent entity. Procedure of checking signup lists remains unchanged.

A party, which has already gathered signatures and registered its list at elections in the State Duma, can also nominate its candidates from single-seat constituencies without signup lists. But self-nominees in single-seat constituencies will have to gather signatures in their support at no less than three percent of voters registered in a constituency and collect no less than 3,000 signatures if a constituency numbers less than 100,000 voters.

The law also contains a ban on electing convicts for grave and heinous crimes for 10 and 15 years, respectively, and additional requirements for a candidate not to have any financial assets and bank accounts abroad.

Ballot papers can have the form of brochure, if number of registered parties exceeds 20 and number of candidates from single-seat constituencies surpasses 30.

According to the law, observers and media people can conduct photo and video recording at polling stations and demand verified copies of election protocol and documents attached to it be produced. On election day video monitoring and webcasting systems of voting progress and vote count in the Internet can be installed at polling stations.


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