This article discusses the procedure for holding the federal parliamentary elections in 2016. Constitutionally legal innovations accompanying elections. The Primary procedure is considered as the stage of the electoral process.
Keywords: Parliament, Federal Parliamentary elections, The Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the CEC of Russia, Primaries, Proportional system, Vote, The majority system.
В данной статье рассматривается порядок проведения федеральных парламентских выборов 2016 года. Конституционно правовые новшества, сопровождающие выборы. Рассматривается процедура «Праймериз», как стадия избирательного процесса.
Ключевые слова: парламент, федеральные парламентские выборы, Конституция РФ, Конституционный Суд РФ, председатель ЦИК России, праймериз, пропорциональная система, голосование, мажоритарная система.
Conducting federal elections in Russia is one of the forms of citizens' participation in the socio-political life of the country. According to (Part 3, Article 3 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation): «The highest direct expression of the power of the people is a referendum and free elections». Elections are a way of changing the ruling elites, by open or secret ballot; institute of the functioning of the political system and political regime; instrument of legitimacy and stabilization of power. Elections determine the degree of public confidence in parties and their programs. If, the authorities do not express the interests of the voters, the elections give the chance to change it, to pass the furrows of the opposition's leadership. Elections are a political market where applicants offer voters their programs and promises, in exchange for power.
According to the established Russian tradition, the federal parliamentary elections are accompanied by the adoption of new laws and new approaches to solving problems. The last elections of 2016 have their own distinctive features: 1) for the first time, in the modern election process, elections of State Duma deputies were held — ahead of schedule. The possibility of holding elections early, was justified by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in the Decree of 01.07.2015 on the interpretation of part 1 of Article 96 and. ч.1,2 and 4 tbsp. 99 of the RF Constitution; 2) elections were held on the Single Vote Day — September 18, 2016 (ie, federal, regional and local elections were held simultaneously). Thus, the voting day was postponed from December 4, 2016 to the third Sunday in September, in order to save the Russian budget and the budget of the parties themselves. This decision applies to all subsequent elections of deputies to the State Duma, under the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation; 3) the election of deputies of the State Duma of the seventh convocation passed through a mixed electoral system, in contrast to the elections of the fifth (2007) and sixth (2011) convocations, which were held on a proportional system; 4) At the same time, two Federal Laws «On Elections of Deputies of the State Duma» in 2005 and 2014 simultaneously operated. The law of 2005 establishes only a proportional system, and the law of 2014 establishes a mixed system of a new model; 5) to resolve electoral disputes in the Federal elections, for the first time it became possible in accordance with the New Code of Administrative Proceedings of the Russian Federation No. 21-FZ of March 8, 2015. It should be noted that in the parliamentary elections held in December 2011, disputes were resolved only in accordance with the CCP of the Russian Federation, i.e. in the civil procedure. To a large extent, the new CAS of the Russian Federation reproduces the norms of the CCP RF that have lost their force in this part; 6) changes were made in the sphere of guarantees and restrictions on electoral rights of citizens of the Russian Federation, on the basis of the legal positions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. First of all, they are connected with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights; 7) in March 2016, in connection with the expired term of office of the previous composition, a new composition of the CEC of Russia was formed. The new composition of the CEC of Russia was updated more than 60 % of the previous composition. A new Chairman of the CEC of Russia, Ella Panfilova, was appointed, who succeeded Vladimir Churov; 8) for the first time in the federal parliamentary elections, 77 political parties registered with the Ministry of Justice of Russia were eligible to participate.
In 2011 there were only 7 parties. Twenty-two parties submitted documents to participate in the elections, but only 14 of them were exempted from collecting signatures for registration as an electoral association. For the passage to the Duma, a 5 % barrier was established; 9) it should be noted that the practice of increasing the number of signatures for registration of candidates, as well as lists of candidates (3 times for candidates in single-mandate electoral districts and 50,000 for a federal list of candidates) did not justify itself. Since, on the basis of voters' signatures, for the first time in the State Duma, not a single list was registered, and only 14 party lists that were exempt from collecting signatures were registered; 10) for the first time, the «Institution Primaries» (ie preliminary voting) was applied systematically, in the pre-election period of 2016. Primaries (preliminary elections by type of voting) allows to select the most effective politicians (elites), to exclude weak candidates. Thus, primaries are a way of selecting candidates for regional party lists, as well as candidates from parties in single-member districts. The meaning of the primaries is that the candidates «from one party, do not select each other's votes in the main elections», because their electorate is close. But the losers still can put themselves in the status of non-party people. The goal of the primaries is to nominate the most powerful and popular candidates (the party's elite) for the main elections. In countries with a developed democratic system, the primaries turn into one of the most important and vivid events of the pre-election race. For example, primaries in the elections of the President of the United States, France, etc. Intraparty elections can be as open, when anyone can vote, and also closed, when only members of the party have the right to vote.
For the first time, primaries were held in the summer of 2007 for elections to the State Duma by the party «United Russia» in a test mode. But, since 2009, the norm «on compulsory holding a preliminary vote» is fixed in the Charter of United Russia, ie. (on the nomination of candidates for elections, by including them in the regional party lists on the basis of preliminary voting). In the Russian doctrine procedure primaries are considered as a stage of the electoral process. Based on the results of the preliminary vote in May 2016, United Russia, proposed by way of legislative initiative, to introduce into the law on elections — the opportunity to conduct such a procedure by all parties. The initiative was supported by the CEC of Russia. Complaints in this period come to him, but how this law applies is not established. A feature of the primaries of 2016 was the initiative of the project «Deputy-Club», which began work in April, providing an opportunity for everyone to vote for candidates. Until 2016, there was no website on the Internet that would provide an opportunity for citizens to vote for their candidate, there were only polls on the websites of the political parties themselves or mass media. The result of the work of the site in the course of a month until May 22, 2016 — this is the day of the preliminary vote of the party United Russia (primaries) — leads to certain conclusions. The main thing is that there is a blurring of the boundaries between the popularity of politicians on the Internet and their real ratings. The result of politicians was influenced by their active participation in the provisional company: these are meetings with voters; participation in public events; participation in the debates on TV, etc. On the day of the preliminary voting — May 22, 2016 — turnout in Russia as a whole was 9.6 %. The Federal Organizing Committee approved as a result 225 candidates in single-mandate constituencies and 400 candidates on party lists.
The main feature of the last elections in 2016 was the return of mixed voting systems — of 450 deputies of the State Duma of the seventh convocation, 225 were elected — by party lists, by a single federal district (proportional system) and 225 by single-mandate constituencies (majority system). At 95,836 polling stations across Russia it was possible to vote for 14 political parties. As reported in the CEC of Russia, 4 parties were elected to the Parliament in the Parliament: 1. United Russia won 54.19 % of the vote (140 seats in the State Duma on party lists and 203 in single-mandate constituencies). Thus, United Russia has 343 seats out of 450. This gives the parties a Constitutional majority and in fact a Carte blanche for decision-making. 2. KPRF — 42 seats (there were 92 seats in the previous Duma), i.e. the number of places they have decreased by more than two. It receives 13.34 % of the vote (35 seats in the State Duma on party lists and seven seats in single-mandate constituencies); 3. LDPR — 39 seats. For it voted 13.15 % (ie 34 mandates on party lists and 5 in single-mandate constituencies). 4. «Fair Russia» — 23 seats. Has received 6.22 % of votes (16 seats on party lists and 7 on single-mandate).
Even the reduction of the barrier for passage to the State Duma from 7 % to 5 % did not help ten non-parliamentary parties to pass through general party lists. Only «Rodina» and «Civic Platform» received 1 seat in the lower house. One self-nominee, Vladislav Reznik, joined the State Duma. CICA chairman Ella Panfilova admitted that she was surprised at the very high results of the ruling United Russia party, under the leadership of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, which positions itself as the party of President V. V. Putin.
Thus, modern Russian electoral legislation develops in the following areas: 1) ensuring the principle of competitiveness; 2) ensuring the provision of voter information and election campaigning; 3) establishment of mandatory (binding) rules for sources of formation and sizes of election funds of candidates and political parties; 4) ensuring the principle of transparency; 5) improving the status of election commissions and their members; 6) legal regulation of public relations, previously not regulated by the right to vote; 7) the permissibility of «electronic» democracy. All these directions turned out to be in the sphere of renewed constitutional and legal regulation.
It should be said that subsequent elections to the State Duma will be held in 2021 in September, after the expiration of the term of the current Duma, of course, this will happen if the seventh Duma does not terminate its powers ahead of schedule.
- The Constitution of the Russian Federation of December 12, 1993 // Rossiyskaya Gazeta. — 25 December. — 1993 year.
- Code of Administrative Judicial Proceedings of the Russian Federation «of 08.03.2015 N 21-FZ (as amended on December 28, 2017)
- Resolution of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of 01.07.2015 N 18-P «On the case of the interpretation of articles 96 (part 1) and 99 (parts 1, 2 and 4) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation»
- Rossiyskaya Gazeta // Primeriz — in the law of the Russian Federation // of May 24, 2016.