© RIA Novosti / Maxim to Aminopherase in photobacteria meeting of the state Duma of the Russian Federation. Archival photo© RIA Novosti / Maxim to Aminopherase the image Bank
The state Duma rejected on Friday when discussing the bill to abolish absentee ballots in the elections amendment on the mandatory participation of the presidential candidates during the debates.
The state Duma adopted on Friday in the second reading the package of bills establishing the procedure for voting at the place of stay without the use of absentee ballots and clarifying the procedure for the appointment of the presidential elections in 2018.
«We believe that debate is an essential part of the electoral process. It is on debate the candidate can not only articulate their position, but to prove her innocence, that on debate the voter can see whether the candidate can defend his position and how he is able to debate. We agree that the law on presidential elections may make some concessions for the personal involvement of the candidates, but we believe that to refuse to participate in the debate, the candidate has no right,» — said Vice-speaker of the state Duma from LDPR, one of the authors of the amendments Igor Lebedev, speaking at the plenary session.
The liberal Democrats proposed to remove from the legislation the norm, giving the right presidential candidate to refuse to participate in debates, and offered to support the amendment.
In turn, the head of the Duma Committee on state construction and legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov proposed amendment be rejected because the candidate himself has to decide whether to implement it the right to participate in the debate or not.
«The President continues to exercise his powers (during the election campaign – ed.). Of course, not always the opportunity (to participate in the debate – ed.) is. For candidates such participation is a right. To exercise this right or not, decides to let it, his headquarters. The amendment we do not support,» said Krasheninnikov.
The majority of MPs did not support the proposal of the deputies of the liberal democratic party.