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Elections to the State Duma are returned to the 2003 rules

March 01, 2013, 11:49 UTC+3

Vladimir Putin was expected to submit the draft law to the lower house of the parliament one of these days

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MOSCOW, March 1 (Itar-Tass) – According to the information of the Kommersant, the president’s draft law on Elections of State Duma Deputies is ready to be submitted to the State Duma. For its conception, the bill is rather liberal and similar to the law of 2003 and allows many parties and candidates, including independent self-nominees, to participate in the federal campaign. However, election blocs are not allowed in elections to the Duma. So, despite the broad possibilities for party members, it is hard even for Duma parties to compete with the union of United Russia and the Russian People's Front, if the party focuses on lists, and the Front concentrates on single-member constituencies.

As the newspaper has learned from Kremlin sources, in accordance with the president's instructions to work out and submit a new draft law on elections of State Duma deputies by March 1, it was ready on February 27. The Central Election Commission also participated in the work. Vladimir Putin was expected to submit the draft law to the lower house of the parliament one of these days.

The law defines the combined system of elections, set down in the 2003 law, with some variations. As before, party lists and candidates from single-member constituencies will be elected to have equal parts (225-225). The passing barrier will be five percent. The average norm of representation is set at the level of 450,000-500,000 electors for a deputy, but sparsely populated districts will have other norms.

A turnout is not specified. The law on guarantees for election rights and the right to participate in a referendum for RF citizens has no limits in this regard. As in 2003 (in 2004, elections to the State Duma were switched to the proportional system), candidates on party lists may also run for single-member districts. The regulation allows popular candidates to serve as “locomotives” for their lists. Entering the Duma from a single-member district, they give their place on the list to less-known fellow party members.

There is no line "Against All". "For what is it needed, if 60 parties of the entire ideological range participate in the elections?" a presidential administration official noted. Under the law, election blocs will not be formed. The Kommersant recalls that the idea of the possibility to form election blocs was raised in the address of President Vladimir Putin to the Federal Assembly. The conception was discussed, but the decision was taken that each must struggle independently, Kremlin sources said.

Returning to the mixed system, the authorities actually admitted that the election system of the 1990s was optimal for the country, said co-chairman of the RPR-PARNAS party Vladimir Ryzhkov, who twice became a deputy from a single-member district. But at present, he is not sure that he will be able to win, since "the value of money has increased incredibly" and not accidentally every year the election fund level is raised.


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