Russian Federation Council approves early parliamentary polls

Moscow, (IANS) The Russian Federation Council approved a bill on Wednesday that permits elections to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, to be held three months in advance, on September 18 instead of December 4, Efe news agency reported.

The Constitutional Court authorised the legislative initiative as an exception and in accordance with an earlier decision issued July 1 to reschedule parliamentary elections for the same day as regional and local elections, to save budgetary resources and increase voter turnout.

Gennady Zyuganov, first secretary of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, had spoken out against rescheduling the parliamentary elections and announced that he would file a challenge against the Constitutional Court’s decision once President Vladimir Putin issued the final bill.

Zyuganov explained that reduction of legislators’ mandates can only be done by constitutional amendment, not federal law.

In addition, the Communist leader warned that holding parliamentary, regional and local elections simultaneously would affect the quality of election campaigns.

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