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Medvedev to Ban Municipal Majority Voting

President Dmitry Medvedev introduced a bill to the State Duma on Tuesday that aims to give political parties bigger representation in about 1,200 municipal legislatures nationwide.

Currently, municipal legislatures can be elected by a majority vote, which gives more opportunities to independents, or by a proportional vote, which favors parties, or a combination of both.

But the new bill bans majority voting for many municipal and city district legislatures, proposing instead to distribute at least 50 percent of the seats between candidates from party lists on a proportional vote, Interfax reported.

Only legislatures with at least 20 seats would be affected, and parties would have to cross a 5 percent threshold to get seats.

The bill also prohibits deputies elected to municipal legislatures on party lists from quitting their party's faction or switching parties while in office. The rule is already in place for regional legislatures.

The bill follows up on proposals voiced by Medvedev in his state-of-the-nation address on Nov. 30.

No date for the vote on the bill was announced Tuesday.

Most legislatures in the country, including the State Duma, are controlled by the pro-Kremlin United Russia.

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