State Duma after all adopts a bill prohibiting referendums during election campaigns

The State Duma (lower house of Russian parliament) adopted on Wednesday, in a fourth attempt, amendments to the federal constitutional law, "On a Referendum in the Russian Federation", a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

The amendments provide for a ban on holding national referendums in the period of federal election campaigns and in case such an initiative "is advanced in the last year of presidential and State Duma powers".

With 300 votes required, the bill was supported by 304 deputies, with 133 voting against.

In the course of the three first votes on the amendments proposed by State Duma centrist organisations with support from rightist factions, the document fell short of the target respectively by one vote, and by three votes each in the second and third attempts.

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