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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Communists to Start Referendum

The Communist Party will start conducting a "people's referendum" to challenge the government on a number of issues this weekend, party leader Gennady Zyuganov said Wednesday.

The Central Elections Commission in April rejected all but two of the proposed propositions for the referendum -- to restore single-mandate elections to the State Duma and preserve deferments for military service -- because they would lead to increased federal spending, violating last year's Kremlin-backed law on referendums. The rejected propositions included a guarantee of free education and free television airtime for all parties in parliament.

Zyuganov said ballot boxes would be placed on streets, squares and parks all over the country on Saturday and that party activists would go door to door to convince some 20 million people to participate in the two-week vote. A party congress will discuss the results Oct. 29.