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Russia's ruling party backs draft to introduce joint elections

Russian Voting Booths With Blue Curtains Adorned by Russian Two-Headed EagleMOSCOW, January 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's ruling United Russia party will vote for a draft which stipulates that local and federal elections could be held simultaneously, party secretary Sergei Neverov said on Wednesday.

"United Russia will back the bill stipulating that elections to local parliaments and federal parliamentary campaigns would be held simultaneously if the dates between them are less than six months apart," Neverov said.
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The draft was introduced by the legislative assembly of Petersburg. Deputies will consider it in the first reading later in the day.

Elections to the lower house of the Russian Parliament, to the legislative assemblies of nine regions, and to the representative bodies of another three local governments will be held at the same time in December 2011.

"If the bill is adopted, an additional 25 regions where local elections are set for March 2012 could decide to hold elections in December 2011," Neverov added.

The move will substantially help decrease expenses of local and federal budgets.

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