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CEC Begins Preparations for Upcoming State Duma Elections

Russia's Central Electoral Commission has initiated preparations for the upcoming December elections to the State Duma, or the lower house of the Russian parliament, CEC head Alexander Veshnyakov told journalists after yet another session of the commission.

"We have set down to consider simple issues," he said.

During the Monday session, the CEC approved the certificate of a candidate member of the State Duma of the fourth convocation and the certificate of a State Duma deputy. It also discussed the certificates of members of electoral commissions of different levels, as well as certificates of persons empowered to act for political parties, electoral blocs and candidate members in electoral districts.

The CEC also considered the candidates for heads of regional electoral commissions. By September 1st, the beginning of the State Duma election campaign, electoral commissions must be set up in 75 members of the Russian Federation, said Veshnyakov, referring to those of the commissions whose authority expires this year and to Siberia's Krasnoyarsk Territorial Electoral Commission, which was dissolved by court decision.

According to Veshnyakov's account, the CEC has approved amendments to the Regulations of the Central Electoral Commission. All members of the CEC pledged not to become members of the governing bodies of political parties. "We must not be connected with party decisions, we must be guided by law," concluded Veshnyakov.