MOSCOW, February 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on a law drastically overhauling the country’s election law in a reform that will create a mixed system by reintroducing single-mandate elections in the next parliamentary vote.
The bill, which was published on a government portal Monday, replaces the fully closed-list proportional system used in the last two elections with voting for individual candidates for half the seats in the 450-member parliament.
Currently unrepresented parties will still have to collect signatures in order to register their participation in elections for the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.
Individual candidates can spend up to 15 million rubles ($420,000) on their campaign, while overall party election spending is capped at 700 million rubles ($20 million).
Electoral reforms introduced by Putin in 2003 and 2004 scrapped voting for individual candidates, as well as direct elections for regional governors.