MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. Voting in Russia’s elections of different levels has begun in a number of regions. As a result, more than 31,000 legislators’ seats and elected posts, including gubernatorial vacancies, will be filled. Elections will be held over a period of one to three days depending on the region.
Polling stations are open from 08:00 to 20:00 local time and will close on September 11.
On the eve of the elections Head of Russia’s Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, said that the national electoral system was fully prepared. She also noted that the current election campaign turned out to be one of the calmest in the last ten years. At the same time, she described it as "quite competitive, energetic and lively." All commissions, candidates and political parties, with very few exceptions, approached all procedures "very responsibly and in a balanced and worthy way," she said. Pamfilova also noted that given the scale of the electoral process, appeals and complaints this year were "fewer than ever" at about 1,400.
Who’s on the ballot and where?
Elections at various levels this year will take place in 82 constituent entities of Russia. The CEC said earlier, as a result of about 4,700 election campaigns, more than 31,000 legislators’ seats and elected positions would be filled.
There will be direct elections of the heads of 14 regions, namely, the Vladimir, Tambov, Yaroslavl, Tomsk, Kirov, Saratov, Ryazan, Kaliningrad, Novgorod, and Sverdlovsk Regions, the Republics of Mari El, Buryatia, Karelia and the Udmurt Republic. In the Republic of Adygea, its head will be elected by the parliament.
In six regions: the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, the Udmurt Republic, the Krasnodar, Penza, Saratov and Sakhalin regions, voters will go to the polls to elect the regional legislatures.
In another 12 constituent territories of Russia, the regional capitals are holding elections for members of representative bodies of power. In all, according to the CEC, about 69,500 candidates have been registered for the elections: 56,600 represent political parties, 12,600 are self-nominees and 172 candidates are from civil society organizations.
This year, the Central Election Commission has empowered the regions to decide for themselves what will be most appropriate for them - to hold the voting over one, two or three days.
Voting in new conditions
In April, there were media reports about the possibility of canceling the elections, which were supposed to be the first after last year's Duma elections and the beginning of the special operation in Ukraine. Some politicians, too, did not exclude this either, but in the end such an idea was dropped. This year’s elections will be held in full, as is required by law.
Director General of the Center for Political Analysis Pavel Danilin told TASS earlier, the elections emphasize that people live in "an absolutely normal situation." He pointed out that "the special military operation influenced the electoral preferences of voters, but it did not affect the very desire to choose one's own government."