Election in new regions to be held for first time under Russian laws

  MOSCOW:  Citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, will elect deputies to...

 


MOSCOW:  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 on a single voting day under the Russian electoral legislation, which has been specially adjusted to make it possible to hold elections even in the conditions of combat and shelling.

The voting in the new regions will take place from September 8 to 10, as in the majority of Russian regions.

Who is to be elected

The new regions will elect their legislative assemblies - the People's Councils of the DPR and LPR, the Kherson Regional Council and the Legislative Assembly of Zaporozhye Region. The citizens will also vote for municipal deputies. The election of the heads of these Russian regions will be indirect and the regional parliaments will elect them after they are formed.

In all four regions, parliaments will be elected exclusively on party lists. The DPR People's Council has 90 deputies, while the LPR has 50. Forty deputies will be elected to the Zaporozhye legislative assembly and 36 others to the Kherson regional Duma.

Election under martial law

In late May, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing new regions to introduce their own peculiarities for holding elections. First of all, they were given the opportunity to create extraterritorial polling stations in other Russian regions for residents temporarily displaced there.

Another novelty is that citizens of the new regions will be able to use other documents in addition to their passport when voting.

Furthermore, the legislation now provides a procedure that allows elections to be held in territories where martial law has been declared. For this purpose, the region’s top official must send a corresponding proposal to the CEC within the established deadline. After that, the Commission holds consultations with the Ministry of Defense and the Federal Security Service (FSB). Then the CEC schedules the elections.

On June 15, the CEC issued a decision that the elections of legislative assemblies and municipal deputies in the new regions could take place. According to 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."

Who has already voted

For residents of the DPR and 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 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.

Nikolay Bulayev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian CEC, told TASS that during the voting at extraterritorial polling stations in 81 constituent entities of the Russian Federation, "the commission did not receive a single complaint". According to Bulaev, "the experiment to create them has fully proven its worth."

Voting procedure

According to Bulayev, more than 1,900 polling stations have been opened in the four new regions. Employees of the Interior Ministry and National Guard will assist in ensuring the security of voting, which will continue on neighboring territories as well. "Such voting [in neighborhood territories] minimizes crowding at polling stations. This method was also used during the referendums [in the four new regions in 2022]. Now we will use it so that those who are not very positive about everything that is happening will not have the opportunity to hit a large number of people," the CEC deputy chairman explained.

Ahead of the voting in the new Russian regions, regional segments of the state automated system Vybory (Elections) were formed. It will allow election commissions to work in the same conditions as their colleagues in other regions. Also, from August 10 to September 4 in the new regions, applications were submitted for participation in the Mobile Voter mechanism, which enables people to vote at their place of temporary residence. More than 7,500 people expressed a desire to use this software product.

The opportunity to use remote e-voting in new regions is currently difficult to implement. This is related to technical complications, as Ella Pamfilova, Chairwoman of the CEC, told the Russian president at a meeting.

Regional heads’ election

According to the law on public power in the regions, if the charter of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation stipulates that the top official there shall be elected by deputies, the Russian president shall present three candidates from those nominated by eligible political parties within 20 days prior to the vote in the regional parliament. However, if the election of the regional head and the legislative assembly is held the same year, the head of state must submit candidates no earlier than five days before the election of deputies.

A source in the State Duma Committee on State Building and Legislation explained to TASS that due to the fact that the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions do not have functioning parliaments, candidates for the governor's posts there may be presented after the elections.

In early August, the United Russia’s General Council proposed the party's nominees for the posts of heads of the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions to the president. They were Denis Pushilin, the acting head of the DPR and secretary of the party's Donetsk regional branch, Leonid Pasechnik, the acting head of the LPR, Yevgeny Balitsky, the acting governor of the Zaporozhye Region, and Vladimir Saldo, the acting governor of the Kherson Region.

Deputies of the new regional assemblies will have to vote on the election of regional heads no later than 45 days after the single day of voting.


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Local Glob: Election in new regions to be held for first time under Russian laws
Election in new regions to be held for first time under Russian laws
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