Almost 250 observers from 55 countries will arrive in Russia to monitor the elections to the State Duma (Lower House of the Russian Parliament), reported the president of the Central Election Commission of the Eurasian country (CEC), Ela Pamfílova.
Joint military exercises between Moscow and Minsk begin
The elections to the State Duma of the eighth legislature will take place from September 17 to 19, simultaneously with the legislative elections in 39 territorial entities and the election of 12 regional governors.
Pamfilova indicated that 5,832 candidates will be presented in the next elections to the State Duma. For the first time in legislative elections in Russia, voting will take place over three days starting Friday. Ballot counting will begin Sunday evening.
“Until recently, there were 3,828 candidates on 14 federal registered lists of party-nominated candidates.”
“Given the execution of the Supreme Court decision regarding 16 candidates whose registration was canceled due to the discovery of foreign financial tools, there are currently 3,812 candidates,” he said at the commission meeting on Wednesday.
Pamfilova added that 2,020 candidates, including 2,010 people from 14 parties and 10 self-proclaimed, will stand for election in single-member electoral districts.
He noted that the federal list of the ruling United Russia party had the largest number of candidates (393), while the New Town party’s list had the smallest number (195).
Among the registered parties is that of the Communists, led by the ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovski (LDPR) and Just Russia, a group that defines itself as a Social Democrat.
Pamfílova specified that as of next Friday, September 17, and until the 19th, from 8:00 a.m. local time to 8:00 p.m., the polling stations throughout the country will be open.
Half of the 450 deputies are elected in a single federal district by party lists; the other 225 in single-mandate districts, at the rate of one deputy per district.
In order to have representation in the Duma, a political party that exceeds five or six percent guarantees one and two seats respectively and, exceeding seven percent, can already obtain representation.
About half a million inhabitants of the Donbas, the scene of an armed conflict between Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army since 2014, will be able to vote for the first time in the Russian legislative elections starting Friday after receiving their passport.
In total, more than 600,000 residents – 670,000, according to Borodái – have already received Russian identity cards in the pro-Russian-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, of whom about half a million will be able to exercise the right to vote.