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  Monday, November 30, 2020
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Alexander Veshnyakov, head of the Russian Central Election Commission, said he was categorically against the artificial implantation of a two-party system in Russia
Alexander Veshnyakov, head of the Russian Central Election Commission, said he was categorically against the artificial implantation of a two-party system in Russia. "All proposals designed to artificially implant a two-party system in Russia are very dangerous," he said during a break at a conference at the Central Election Commission. Representatives of Russian political parties, State Duma deputies, members of the Federation Council and representatives of a number of ministries and government departments attended the conference. Mr. Veshnyakov's statement about the danger of artificially introducing a two-party system followed a speech by Valery Grebennikov, a United Russia State Duma deputy, that was in favor of annulling the legislative norm which envisages that at least four political parties be represented in the State Duma. "A two-party system should be created naturally, not by bans," Mr. Veshnyakov said. He added that if prohibitory barriers were introduced, the representative character of the State Duma would remain; 49% of the constituents would not be represented in the Duma and, consequently political parties would be pushed to use extremist methods, instead of taking part in a civilized election campaign. Mr. Veshnyakov said that the raising the 5% hurdle for parties to win seats in the Duma was absolutely unacceptable, and added that "all political forces, represented in Russia - Leftists, Rightists and Centrists - must be represented in the State Duma." Mr. Veshnyakov said the Central Election Commission's initiative on holding elections in Russia on one day was supported in the regions. According to him, this was demonstrated by statements by participants in the commission's conferences in several regions. At the end of March, the Central Election Commission proposed that elections be held on one day in March, and one day in October (for runoff elections). However, during parliamentary elections, all other elections should be postponed until December. The commission also believes that elections of no more than of three levels should be held on one day. Mr. Veshnyakov said he hoped "the current discussion will help develop approaches which the Central Election Commission will present at the parliamentary hearings on reforming of the election system in Russia." He assured the conference participants that the Central Election Commission would continue to organize such meetings with representatives of political parties to discuss various aspects of the election legislation.
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