MOCOW, September 8. /TASS/. Residents of more than 80 Russian regions will begin to vote in elections of various levels on Friday to elect heads of regions, members of regional and municipal legislatures and four members of the State Duma.
For the first time, parliamentary elections will be held in the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR), as well as in the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye.
This year, more than 4,000 elections will be held across Russia. 21 regions will hold direct elections of regional heads, while 20 regions will choose regional lawmakers. Members of municipal legislatures will be elected in 17 regions. The vote for the mayor of Moscow and the governor of the Moscow Region will be among the campaign’s most prominent events. Also, members of the Russian parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, will be elected in four single-seat constituencies.
In the majority of regions, the vote will continue for three days. Polling stations will be open between 8:00 a.m. Friday and close at 8:00 p.m. Sunday local time.
Citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, will elect deputies to their legislative assemblies for the first time under the Russian electoral laws, which have been specially adjusted to make it possible to hold elections even in the conditions of combat and shelling.
According to Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova, "the Russian Defense Ministry sent a letter to the CEC containing recommendations on the conditions under which the voting should take place and what the CEC should do."
A total of 81,000 people will participate in the elections as candidates for various posts, over 70,000 of them are members of 20 political parties, the remaining 10,000 are self-designated candidates.
Vote in new regions
Political parties that have seats in the Russian parliament will compete for seats in regional legislatures of Russia’s new regions. The five Russian parliamentary parties - United Russia, LDPR, the Communist Party, A Just Russia and New People - will run in the DPR and the LPR elections. The New People party decided not to nominate its candidates in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
In all the four regions, parliaments will be elected exclusively on party lists. The DPR People's Council has 90 members, while the LPR has 50. Forty members will be elected to the Zaporozhye legislative assembly and 36 others to the Kherson regional Duma.
Within 45 days after being formed, the legislatures are to choose heads of their respective regions from candidates designated by the Russian president. The United Russia party has already nominated to the posts incumbent regional heads, who currently have the acting status
The bulk of election commissions in the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson is formed by people who helped to organize referendums on accession to Russia about a year ago. According to Pamfilova, the four regional-level election commissions in these areas have 44 members in total, 100 territorial commissions comprise 830 members, while 1,907 local election commission have more than 18,000 members. All of them underwent training, organized by the Russian Central Election Commission.
For residents of the DPR and the Zaporozhye Region, who live in hard-to-reach areas and settlements near the line of contact, early voting started on August 31. For residents of the LPR and the Kherson Region it started on September 2. All four regions will complete this process by September 7. Early voting implies the work of visiting groups at addresses and in courtyard areas. At the same time, from September 1 to 4, the voting took place in 81 Russian regions at 329 extraterritorial polling stations organized by the election commissions of the four new Russian regions.
More than 100 similar polling stations were also set up in four Russian regions by the election commissions of the regions where elections at various levels will be held. This gave both Russian servicemen and construction personnel working to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure an opportunity to vote. The Defense Ministry provided security at the extraterritorial sites, which were set up in military units.
Polling stations in the DPR, the LPR and the Kherson Region will open at 8:00 a.m. Moscow time and close at 8:00 p.m. Moscow time.
"A total of 615 polling stations will open on the DPR territory on September 8. We are fully ready for the polls. Comprehensive security measures have been undertaken. Hundreds of police and security officers are involved," the press service of the DPR election commission has told TASS.
In turn, the deputy head of the LPR election commission chair said a total of 461 polling stations will open in the region. Relevant security measures have been taken, with security personnel present at all venues. The vote will be monitored by 87 observers from various political parties and the LPR Public Chamber.
A total of 51 polling stations will open on the territory of the Kherson Region.
In the Zaporozhye Region, only voting at home will be held on September 8 and 9. Polling stations will open on September 10.
"Overall, we plan to open 482 polling stations with the exception of those that are in immediate vicinity of the combat zone and the grey zone," said Galina Katyushchenko, who is the Zaporozhye Region’s top election official.
Elections in Moscow
In-person and remote vote will be held in the Russian capital Moscow and the surrounding Moscow Region over three days - on September 8, 9 and 10. Members of regional and municipal legislatures will also be elected.
The Russian capital’s residents will vote for the city’s mayor. Besides, residents of 13 municipalities in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky Administrative Districts (TINAO) will elect members of a local legislature.
Moscow residents have different options of expressing their will. They can do so online, with the help of electronic terminals or use paper ballots at almost 2,100 polling stations or at home.
Five candidates will compete for the post of the Russian capital’s mayor: Dmitry Gusev (A Just Russia - Patriots - For the Truth), Vladislav Davankov (New People), Leonid Zyuganov (the Communist Party of Russia), Borish Chernyshov (LDPR) and incumbent Mayor Sergey Sobyanin (United Russia).
More than 630 party members and self-designated candidates were registered to participate in the municipal elections in TINAO. An average of four candidates compete for every mandate.
Elections in Moscow Region
Twelve electoral campaigns will be held in the Moscow Region - a territory adjacent to the Russian capital which is a separate administrative entity of Russia. Residents of the region will elect the governor and additional members of the Moscow Region Duma in the Pushkinsky single-seat constituency No.17. Besides, members of local self-government authorities will be elected in ten urban districts.
The Election Commission of the Moscow Region registered four candidates to the post of the governor: incumbent head Andrey Vorobyev (United Russia), Kirill Zhigarev (LDPR), Alexander Naumov (Communist Party) and Anatoly Nikitin (A Just Russia - For Truth).
According to the commission, the region has over six million registered voters. This year, more than 3,900 polling stations will open. Almost 14,000 police, security officials, private security staffers and volunteers will be deployed to maintain security during the vote.