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Duma to consider easing requirement for regional candidates to collect signatures from incumbent legislators

Source: State Duma

Two State Duma deputies from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Mikhail Degtiarev and Alexey Didenko, have proposed a bill that would decrease the so-called “municipal filter” for regional elections throughout the country. Currently, candidates who run for the highest office in their regional government must collect signatures from between 5 percent and 10 percent of their local legislative deputies depending on the region. The new bill proposes limiting that number to a maximum of 5 percent.

Opposition candidates have advocated on multiple occasions for the municipal filter to be eliminated entirely, arguing that it functionally enables the ruling United Russia party to block candidates from other parties. The policy was first established in 2012. In 2018, Central Election Commission head Ella Pamfilova raised the idea of softening the filter, and in February 2019, a group of federal advisers serving Russia’s presidential administration gave its approval for the proposal.