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Lower House approves ‘none of the above’ option for municipal polls

Published time: May 23, 2014 14:01
A resident of Krymsk casts his vote at the early election of the head of Krymsk municipal district.(RIA Novosti / Ustinov)

A resident of Krymsk casts his vote at the early election of the head of Krymsk municipal district.(RIA Novosti / Ustinov)

Russian State Duma has voted to pass a bill allowing protest voting in the country at its second and main reading. According to the current draft, the option is only allowed in municipal elections.

The bill also provides that in cases when most voters vote for none of the above the authorities must organize a re-run.

The bill was prepared and submitted to the Lower House by a group of senators headed by Upper House chair Valentina Matviyenko. The original document allowed the return of the “none of the above” option to ballots on all election levels, but this met strong opposition from Lower House MPs.

The head of the State Duma Committee for Constitutional Law, Vladimir Pligin, said during the debates that the return of a protest vote was undesirable because the objective of the elections was to form the bodies of power, not just gather information about popular preferences. At the same time Pligin admitted that the “none of the above” vote was possible at a municipal level, where the public has good personal knowledge of candidates.

The ‘none of the above option’ existed in Russia from 2001 till 2006 when it was removed from ballots for financial reasons – legislators decided that holding additional elections was too expensive. In October 2013 senators suggested to return it in order to boost democracy and voter turnout, claiming that citizens must have an opportunity to express any political will, including opposition to all the candidates.

The government agreed with the bill, and the legislative assemblies of six Russian federal regions have already voted for it. According to a public opinion poll conducted by the VTSIOM agency in 2013 43 percent of Russians supported the move, 21 percent opposed it and 32 percent said they were indifferent to such changes.

Comments (7)

 

Mr. Deaver 04.06.2014 18:30

I don't generally think of Russia as being ahead of the curve, but this is a great idea. I'd like to see it in all US elections; Federal, State and local. I'm sure the opposition would be great. Politicians would stand to loose a lot.

 

Bebeto 25.05.2014 17:59

Mike Oxstiff 25.05.2014 07:01

Instead of non of the above why don't the russians allow credible people to stand against the corrupt leadership?
All the people who vote for non of the above will receive a visit from Mr Putins nice security people and they will persuade them to vote for Putins chosen candidate

  


You are not in the US, and if you are, then why are you saying that after what happened with Bush and Gore, ignorant fool, you need to read about history to make more substantiated comments instead of just typing comments with your negative IQ, the US goverment is the most corrupt one

 

Z Gus 25.05.2014 15:53

Mike Oxstiff 25.05.2014 07:01

Instead of non of the above why don't the russians allow credible people to stand against the corrupt leadership?

  


The Russians allow ad succeed to elect credible people to stand against corrupt leadership. But you don't seem to like that at all! In fact almost all western media tries to discredit Mr. Putin whose approval rating is around 80%, while there is no outcry to get rid of Mr. Obama's with an approval rating of 40%. As far as the pool of "credible people" the US congress approval rate is 12%!

View all comments (7)
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