State Duma passes on second reading bills governing elections in new regions, martial law

MOSCOW:  The Russian State Duma, or lower house of parliament, on Wednesday passed several bills in the second reading to amend existing leg...


MOSCOW:  The Russian State Duma, or lower house of parliament, on Wednesday passed several bills in the second reading to amend existing legislation on the conduct of elections in the country’s new regions as well as election procedures and detention under martial law.

Elections in Russia’s new regions

The new regions of the Russian Federation, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR), Zaporozhye Region and Kherson Region, have now been delegated the right to independently determine certain provisions of the federal election law. In particular, residents of the new regions are now eligible to cast votes at polling stations located outside of their home regions and may also use not only their Russian internal passports for personal identification purposes but also other documents with equivalent legal force.

If holding an election or a referendum on the territory of one of the four regions would pose a threat to the lives or well-being of the citizenry, voting may be postponed by decision of Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC), which must immediately inform the president of any such postponement. Once the relevant danger is eliminated, the CEC will determine when to resume the electoral process.

Elections to regional government bodies

The lawmakers voted to amend the law on elections to regional government bodies, approving new provisions that allow polling stations to be opened outside the borders of the relevant region by decision of the regional election commission. However, the federal CEC will still be responsible for establishing such polling stations, including determining the composition of the regional election commission, drawing up voter lists, counting votes and announcing election results, as well as other relevant issues.

Elections under martial law

The Duma also passed amendments to Russian federal legislation on martial law, stipulating that referendums and elections may be held on those territories where martial law has been declared following relevant consultations by the CEC with the Russian Defense Ministry and the Federal Security Service (FSB). Under the bill, elections and referendums may be held, provided that all relevant bodies approve it, across the entire territory where martial law has been declared or in a specific part of such territory.

Detention of citizens within martial law zones

Finally, the State Duma amended the current legislation governing the detention of citizens in a martial law zone. Under the new regulations, those found to be in violation of the provisions of martial law, as decreed by the president of Russia, within the territory where it has been declared, may be detained for up to 30 days.


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Local Glob: State Duma passes on second reading bills governing elections in new regions, martial law
State Duma passes on second reading bills governing elections in new regions, martial law
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