23:29 GMT +317 March 2018
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    MOSCOW, Mar. 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Union of Right Forces (SPS) is to initiate referenda on re-introducing the election of most of the regional governors by direct popular vote, Boris Nadezhdin, the SPS presidium's secretary, told a RIA Novosti news conference on Tuesday.

    "Advocacy groups for such referenda have been set up in 50 regions out of the 89," Mr. Nadezhdin said, adding that SPS regional offices acted as such advocacy groups. "We are to submit relevant paperwork to the election commissions in the most of the regions."

    According to Mr. Nadezhdin, relevant papers are to be submitted to Moscow's city election commission by the SPS group in Moscow as early as today.

    "We have made some progress in several constituent entities of the Russian Federation, with the Moscow Region's and Altai Territory's election commissions having responded in a positive manner to the feasibility of such referenda," Mr. Nadezhdin said.

    He is certain SPS will "achieve success" in reinstating the election of regional governors through direct voting.

    "We shall achieve it via referenda or the Constitutional Court," he said adding that SPS "will file lawsuits if referenda are denied," Mr. Nadezhdin stressed.

    Russian Central Election Commission Chairman Alexander Veshnyakov has said recently that regional referenda on re-installing direct voting in governor election were impossible.

    "The law does not allow regional referenda on matters governed y the federal law," he said.

    According to Mr. Veshnyakov, the Central Election Commission will speak against such referenda.

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