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17 Dec, 2020 12:38

Putin says Russian voters can shake up parliament & end center-right, communist & nationalist dominance in next year's vote

Putin says Russian voters can shake up parliament & end center-right, communist & nationalist dominance in next year's vote

Russia’s parliamentary system is evolving, with at least 16 parties set to participate in next year’s election as new factions look to shake up the status quo, which has been dominated by three groups for almost two decades.

That’s according to President Vladimir Putin, who was asked whether newer parties could be in line to replace the dominant stalwarts of the past two decades.

Russia’s two largest opposition parties, the Communists and the LDPR, have been led by Gennady Zyuganov and Vladimir Zhirinovsky since 1993 and 1992 respectively. Both men are now in their 70s, and it is expected that they will soon need to pass on the baton.

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Speaking at his annual Q&A news conference, Putin noted that political parties with local representation no longer need to collect a long list of signatures to participate in federal elections and, therefore, could pose an extra challenge to the current “traditional, established” factions.

“The voter decides who is elected,” Putin said. “The goal of all traditional parties is the same: the well-being of the country.”

Russia’s next parliamentary election is coming in 2021, the first following updates to the constitution granting more powers to elected MPs across a number of issues. According to new laws, the State Duma now makes more decisions regarding the formation of the government, with the ability to select the prime minister and deputy prime ministers.

“There is now the perfect coupling between the government and MPs,” Putin said.

In September, it was revealed that three new parties had been added to the previous list of 13 eligible for national elections. ‘New People’, ‘Green Alternative’, and ‘For Truth’ all received the required five percent of the vote in at least one region. Parties that did not qualify in this manner have to collect 200,000 signatures. One of those is ‘Russia Without Corruption’, founded on December 15 by Roman Putin, the first cousin once-removed of the president.

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