Thu, 26 Nov 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a controversial bill that allows voting over as many as three days during elections.

The law was signed by the president on July 31 and published on the federal website on legislation.

The bill was approved by both chambers of Russia's parliament, the State Duma and the Federation Council, earlier in July.

Right after the bill was approved by the Federation Council a week ago, Central Election Commission Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova announced that the new voting system would be used during elections in September in 41 of the Russian Federation's 83 regions.

According to Pamfilova, voting will start on September 11 and last for three days, with September 13 as the main election day.

The bill says that the decision on whether to hold a multiday voting procedure will be made by election officials.

Human rights organizations in Russia have harshly criticized the law saying it could give powerholders more control over elections and more of a chance to rig their results.

Multiday voting was used for the first time between June 25 and July 1 in a national vote on constitutional amendments that, among other things, allowed President Vladimir Putin the possibility of seeking further presidential terms after his current one expires in 2024.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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