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Communists Object to Election 'Filters' in New Law

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov Sergei Porter

The Communist Party plans to complain to the Constitutional Court about the so-called "filters" for candidates in the recently passed law returning direct gubernatorial elections.

The law, which was signed by former President Dmitry Medvedev in May, obliges candidates to collect signatures of 5 to 10 percent of municipal deputies or municipal administration heads and allows the president to call candidates for "consultations."

These restrictions violate several constitutional provisions at once, including those recognizing people's rights to elect candidates, to be elected to state and local governing bodies, and to exercise their power directly through free elections, said Vadim Solovyov, a Communist lawmaker in the State Duma, Kommersant reported Friday.

With the municipal filter, gubernatorial elections "can't be considered direct anymore," Solovyov said.

The filter also "legalizes actual advantages of the ruling party", meaning that "such elections can't be considered equal," he said, adding that equality is also a constitutional demand.

The first gubernatorial elections under the new law will take place in the fall in the Amur, Belgorod, Bryansk and Novgorod regions.

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