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Russia goes ahead towards democratisation of society.
February 18, 2003

President Putin, who spoke at a meeting of the Council of Russian lawmakers on Tuesday, has welcomed the formation of blocs of all-Russia parties in regional parliaments.

The transition to such a combined system of the formation of regional parliaments might become one of the key steps towards strengthening democracy of the system of power and in society, Putin said. The idea is make Russia's political system stable and predictable, the president said. Under the federal law, possible amendments to the legislation of members of the Russian Federation should be presented for approval until July 14, the president noted.

The essence of a combined electoral system (under which 50 percent of deputies are elected on a majority basis, and 50 percent on a party ticket) in elections to regional parliaments is to make the electoral system more easily comprehensible for the population, President Putin declared. This has not been done to suit anyone in particular, or give someone an advantage in an election, but rather to make the country more comprehensible, stable and predictable, Putin said.

The electorate should not merely elect a good person, but elect a good person whose intentions and political beliefs are clear, and who is conscious of a double responsibility to his party and the people, Putin said.

The president called on the lawmakers to analyse this problem from a balanced position, but warned that this should not take too long. It is a common thing in Russia to "ponder a hundred years over a problem," but history does not give us time for that any longer, Putin said.

One of the tasks of priority importance is to reach a balance between the federal and regional legislations so as to overcome differences between the normative acts in the centre and regions. This gap in legal practice impedes settlement of many problems in the social and economic field, Putin said.

All the laws adopted in the country should work in practice, Putin said. It is inadmissible either to repeat the mistakes of the past, when normative acts were adopted in the centre that did not take into account the regional specifics, or repeat the practice of adopting laws in regions which ran contrary to the fundamental principles of the constitution, Putin said.

The state should undertake commitments that can be fulfilled in reality and which are backed financially, he said. No more false promises or demagogue, but work on the principle once promised - means done, the president said.

The president supported members of the Council of legislators who came out in support of comprehensive revision of the country's legislation. More than 200 laws are going to be reviewed by the year 2005, Putin said.

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