State Duma Speaker Favors 5 Percent Threshold for Parties in 2003 Parliamentary Elections

State Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov speaks in favor of keeping the 5% threshold for parties at the forthcoming 2003 elections to the State Duma (Lower House), the Speaker said answering the questions of the press.

Gennady Seleznyov expressed his negative opinion of the "United Russia" party's initiative to introduce a 12.5% threshold for parties running for the State Duma.

However, he believes that 6 or 7% threshold can be considered as an alternative. "But in any case, not the 12.5% threshold," emphasized the State Duma Speaker. At the same time he noted that "he knew no other country in the world with such a high electoral threshold." Regarding the initiative of the "Russian Regions" groups representative, Vladimir Lysenko, who proposed to reduce the threshold for parties running for the State Duma to 3%, Gennady Seleznyov said that "it was another alternative." Gennady Seleznyov noted that "all the innovations" to the electoral law "were possible, but not during the 2003 State Duma elections." "With one year to go before the elections it wouldn't do to consider changes to the threshold for running for the State Duma," he pointed out.

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