Dmitry Medvedev introduced a bill reforming the State Duma election system. Each candidate will run from a certain territory, parties will not have to collect signatures, and observers will be able to take a vote and broadcast the filming on the Internet. In addition, the bill says how to become a deputy for 6 million rubles of personal funds.
The president Dmitry Medvedev introduced into State Duma the draft law "On the election of deputies of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation". The Kremlin press service published a certificate of the bill. The text of the document in the public domain has not yet been published.
The bill involves a change in the existing system of forming the lower house of parliament. The first innovation is aimed at ensuring that each region and each administrative unit of the country had a representative in the State Duma. Now some regions "do not get" the deputy.
To remedy the situation, the president proposes to divide the country into 225 territorial units, based on the population. Each candidate to the State Duma will run from one of these territorial units. There will be no federal lists. There will be no non-partisan candidates. Each party will receive the right to nominate its representatives in those regions where it considers it necessary, but not more than four candidates for a territorial unit. The general list of the party wishing to participate in the elections must contain at least 100 candidates.
From the statement on the draft law it is not clear how to deal with the situation if only one party nominates its candidates in one of the territorial units or all the parties will be “forgotten” about the territory in general.
To participate in the elections will be much easier. The collection of signatures is canceled. Documents in CEC can be send over the Internet. The parties will be able to publish information on the income and property of candidates on their websites, and not on the CEC website, as they are now.
Interestingly, the bill allows the creation of election funds not only for parties, but also for individual candidates. Candidate funds cannot exceed 6 million rubles, and can only be formed from the party ticket office and the candidate’s personal funds. It can be assumed that small parties will be happy to include in their lists of people who are ready to participate in the election campaign exclusively at their own expense.
As for the pre-election campaign, the bill introduces regulation of the participation of online publications in it. They are subject to the same requirements as to the media. That is, the terms of payment should be open and the same for all parties.
The draft law enshrines the right of observers to photograph and video at polling stations, and also guarantees the possibility of continuous online broadcasting of the voting process and the counting of votes.
Finally, Dmitry Medvedev, as promised earlier, proposes to lower the entry barrier to the State Duma from 7 to 5%.
The proposed initiatives became part of the political reform, about which Dmitry Medvedev spoke at the end of December last year against the background of mass protests against the results of elections to the State Duma. After that, the president introduced bills on the election of governors, on facilitating the registration of parties and on reducing the number of signatures for the presidential nomination. The State Duma will consider these three bills in the first reading in one package at an extraordinary plenary meeting on February 28.
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