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    Effective party structure needed to develop election system

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    MOSCOW, June 30 (RIA Novosti) - An effective party structure is necessary in order for the Russian election system to fully reveal its potential, Presidential Chief of Staff Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.

    "In the past ten years, political developments in Russia have often proved that the election system cannot fully reveal its democratic potential without an effective and balanced party structure," Medvedev told a seminar at the Central Election Commission.

    "The latest legislative initiatives of the Russian president were designed to form a developed party structure and increase real political competition," he said.

    The transition to a proportional State Duma (parliament's lower house) election system is one of these initiatives, Medvedev said.

    The State Duma is also discussing amendments to election legislation that provide for the setting of a single date for all federal and local elections, the canceling of election blocs, the tenfold increase of state financing for political parties and the toughening of liability for election violations.

    The legislation is being amended two years before the federal election campaign and allows parties and society as a whole to prepare.

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