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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Don't Delay the Vote

This week Federation Council member Yelena Mizulina published an eloquent reminder of why it is vital that Russia's elections be held according to the constitution.

Those who tried, by hook or by crook, to slow down the passage of the Duma election law argued: "There's no need to hurry. It isn't important if the elections are held in December or in January." Of course, it is crucially important. A civilized election procedure is only just being developed here. Today it is vital that we establish one of its basic principles: No one has the right to arbitrarily alter the constitutional norms for elections.

Elections can be held early, if the Duma is dissolved or dissolves itself according to constitutional procedures. But they can never be delayed. If the upcoming elections are held on time, we will establish a most important precedent which will help ensure that next time no one will even raise the question of "extending mandates." That precedent will keep people from introducing arguments like, "the legislature is just starting to work, has only just found common ground with the president" and so on. If the parliament and the president are really working so well, then the voters will return them to office. But we cannot deprive the people of their right to power, a right which can only be realized by the election process.

Moskovskiye Novosti, June 21