Address by H.E. Mr. Gleb A.Ivashentsov,

Ambassador of the Russian Federation,
to a group of South Korean Journalists

(Seoul, November 30th, 2007)

 

 

 

 

 

On the coming elections to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

 

 

The crucial importance of the 2nd December elections to the State Duma is obvious. It is not only because the new Parliament will work in the decisive years of the uplift of Russia when the greatest projects are to be implemented.

The elections are significant by the fact that they take place just a couple of months before the presidential election. In this way the supreme bodies of State power of Russia will be totally renovated. It is important that such a renovation is for the good of the country and the future Parliament and the President fruitfully cooperate.

Therefore as President Putin said, we cannot allow the State Duma to become an assembly of populists paralyzed by corruption and demagogy to repeat the situation which we have already had in our country.

The future Parliament is to secure the policy of strengthening Russia. Without a responsible Parliament we will not be able to guarantee neither development of economy, nor development of science, education, health and culture.

Within last eight years a lot has already been done. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia have been ensured. The rule of law and the primacy of the Constitution have been restored. Inspite of heavy losses and casualties the aggression of the international terrorism against our country has been rebuffed thanks to the courage and unity of the people of Russia. We still have here a lot of hard and complicated tasks but the situation in general has surely changed for the better.

As for the economic scene the growth of the GNP within last eight years has achieved 70 percent. The summary capitalization of the Russian companies has increased more than 30 fold. Russia has come back to the list of ten leading economies of the world. And it is not the limit. Independent experts in our country as well as abroad are convinced that if the present course of the countrys development is continued and the present economic growth rate is maintained, Russia within ten years will be among five biggest world economies.

The situation in the social sphere has also drastically changed. The real wages and salaries have grown three-fold. Due to the active social policy the mortality rate is coming down. For the first time in recent period the birth-rate has started rising.

All that is justly linked with the activities of President Putin. It has not come by itself. It is the result of constant, sometimes sharp and hard, political struggle within Russia as well as in the international arena, where there is a conflict of interests of different forces.

Those who oppose Putin do not want the plans for renovation and strengthening of Russia to be implemented. They want other Russia, a weak and sick state, a disorganized, disoriented and divided society as it is only in such conditions they will be able to make their money by robbing the country.

All these factors determine the fateful character of the coming parliamentary elections in Russia. That is why the President has appealed to the voters to support his political course of rebirth of Russia and has put his own name to the list of the candidates of the leading political party of the Russia which is the United Russia party.

How are the elections to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to be held.

The candidates are put forward by political parties only. The voters vote for the party, not in favour of an individual candidate. It is only those parties that get more then seven percent of the total number of votes will be able to send their representatives to the Duma. Each party participating in the elections makes public the federal as well as the local list of its candidates. To take part in the elections the political party should correspond to the following.

- It should have regional branches in more than half of the subjects of the Russian Federation. The party may have only one regional branch in one subject of the Russian Federation;

- The party should have not less than fifty thousand members. In more than a half of the subjects of the Russian Federation there should be regional branches not less than five hundred members each. The membership of each other regional branch of the party cannot be less than 250. A citizen of the Russian Federation can be a member of only one political party.

- The headquarters and all organizational structures of the party should be located on the territory of the Russian Federation.

There are eleven political parties which correspond to the above conditions and have been registered to take part in the elections to the State Duma.

-         1. The Democratic Party of Russia;

-         2.The United Russia Party;

-         3.The Communist Party of the Russian Federation;

-         4.The Union of the Rightist Forces;

-         5.The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia;

-         6. The Russian United Democratic Party Yabloko (Apple);

-         7. The Patriots of Russia;

-         8. The Agrarian Party of Russia;

-         9. The Civil Force;

-         10. The Party of Social Justice;

-         11. The Just Russia

By the law of the Russian Federation it is not allowed that a single political party has all the seats in the Duma. If it is only one party that overcomes the seven percent barrier, one more party is automatically allowed to join the distribution of the mandates. If a certain number of political parties overtake the seven-percent barrier but the number of votes received by them does not exceed 60 percent the next party is automatically allowed to join even if it has less than seven percent votes.

The voting is not compulsory. But as the Constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees each citizen the right to vote, the opportunity to execute that right is to be provided. Otherwise we shall violate the Constitution. Therefore the polling stations are arranged everywhere even in the railway stations for those who are in a long travel. All together there will be 96 thousand polling stations including about 350 within the Embassies and Consulates of the Russian Federation in 140 foreign countries.

The voting is transparent. Several hundred observers from foreign countries are expected to monitor the elections. 1076 journalists have been accredited to the Central Election Committee of the Russian Federation representing 14 radio channels, 31 print media, 17 TV channels and 18 information agencies. As for foreign correspondents, there are 353 of them, 16 radio channels, 26 print media, 44 TV channels and 18 agencies.