On September 18, Russian voters will elect 450 Deputies to the Russian Federation State Duma (lower house of Parliament). These elections will be held under a new electoral system.
Following legislative changes, half of the Deputies in the 2016 elections will be elected from party lists of candidates in one nationwide constituency, with the threshold lowered from 7 to 5 percent. This change was made as part of several amendments to the election code since 2011. The remaining 225 Deputies will be elected in single-mandate constituencies under a first-past-the-post system.
In Russia’s bicameral Parliament, the State Duma is the only directly elected house, with the Federation Council’s (upper chamber) 170 members chosen by regional government officials. This election will, in many ways, be as much about the strength of the President as of the Parliament, with the next presidential elections slated for 2018.
To help you understand this important electoral process, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) provides Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Elections in the Russian Federation: 2016 Parliamentary Elections. IFES FAQs include:
- What laws and regulations govern elections in the Russian Federation?
- What is the state of political parties?
- Why are these parliamentary elections important?
- What are the rules that govern the media?