24 parties to take part in September parliamentary polls – official

Members of the Patriots of Russia party in the building of Russia's Central Election Commission (CEC) in Moscow before they submit documents on the nomination of the federal list of candidates to the State Duma of the 7th convocation. © Vitaliy Belousov
Twenty-four of Russia’s 77 political parties have expressed their intent to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, the head of the Central Elections Committee has said.

In her speech delivered at the Terra Scientia educational forum at the weekend, Ella Pamfilova said that of 77 registered political parties in Russia, 74 were legally capable of participating in parliamentary elections and 24 had expressed the desire to do so.

Answering a question from the audience, Russia’s elections boss said she personally didn’t rule out the possibility of using internet voting sometime in future.

Our tactical objective is to hold the forthcoming elections in strict accordance with the current law and analyze the whole array of information that appears after the polls are concluded in order to uncover some system defects and put down our proposals concerning the legislative basis and the technical re-equipment of the elections process,” Pamfilova said at the forum.

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Russia is holding nationwide parliamentary elections on September 18 – the next nationwide elections day. The polls will be the first run-out for a new system that has significantly softer rules of political party registration - half of all deputies will be running from independent constituencies. Also, it will be the first nationwide polls since major political reform significantly increased registered political parties with a concomitant boost to political competition.

The September polls will also be the first nationwide elections held after the introduction of the so-called Foreign Agents Law – legislation that requires all non-governmental groups engaged in political processes and receiving money from abroad to register with the Justice Ministry as ‘foreign agents.’ While the move has been met with criticism from various rights groups, Russian officials have repeatedly emphasized that it contained no bans and only sought to inform voters better about the backgrounds and connections of various political forces.

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