Elections 0.0: Along Came Primaries in Russia

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The alien word “primaries” has already taken root in Russian political discourse. Nowadays primary elections defined as a means by which a political party nominates candidates for upcoming general elections or by-elections refer both to the situation in the United States and in Russia. Primaries may help to address the pressing problem of clearing the way for fresh blood to join the ruling party and Russia’s political establishment as a whole.

The All-Russia People’s Front as an Instrument of Direct Democracy

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The All-Russia People’s Front (ONF) held the “Action Forum” in Yoshkar-Ola on April 25 that was attended by President Vladimir Putin. Participants of the Forum discussed topics ranging from the quality of life to the state of the country’s social services, however, the issue covered most extensively was the effectiveness of budget spending in Russia.

Russian Primaries: The Road to More Competitive Elections?

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Russia goes to the polls on 18 September 2016. Not only will the seventh convocation of the State Duma be chosen, but 38 regional legislatures and eight regional governors will also be selected, and there will also be municipal elections. The 2011-12 electoral cycle provoked a tumultuous period of contentious politics, but it is unlikely that the forthcoming elections will be accompanied by anything like as much controversy.

Foreign Press Review #4 (18.04-24.04)

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Last week Syria once again became the most popular topic in the western media due to a partial withdrawal of the opposition groups from the peace talks in Geneva amid a recent upsurge in fighting in Syria and the government’s reluctance to free detainees or allow humanitarian aid into the country. Foreign media also payed special attention to the failed oil negotiations in Doha as well as the first in nearly two years meeting of the NATO-Russia Council that many called a breakthrough in itself.

Could the EU Division on the Extension of Sanctions Lead to Their Lifting?

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A far more contentious decision than two years ago is due to be made in July on whether to leave target economic sanctions against Russia in place. Compared with the full unanimity expressed by all the 28 EU members since their introduction, the latest decision on the automatic extension of sanctions came with a major debate paving the way to an internal division within the EU.

Putin’s Call-In Show Transforming From an Attribute of the Individual Style to a Political Institution

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The public channels and radio stations broadcast the 14th televised call-in show with Vladimir Putin. The head of state managed to answer 80 various questions concerning the population and the country. This time, he interacted with Russians for 3 hours 40 minutes. Experts note that the call-in show is developing from an element of Putin’s personal style into a political institution.

Foreign Press Review (11.04-17.04)

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The incidents when Russian SU-24 fighter jets buzzed the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook during the US’ joint exercises with Poland in the Baltic Sea was one of the most popular topics in the western media last week. American officials described these flight maneuvers as “unsafe”, “aggressive”, “reckless and provocative”. As for Russia’s domestic policy, the press has payed a lot of attention to the “Direct Line” with President Putin, which was designed to motivate local officials to increase the effectiveness of their work.

NGOs Should Be Strictly Regulated as It Is Done Worldwide

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The draft law on defining “political activities” for nonprofit organizations has been introduced to the State Duma. The amendments have been designed to avert wrongful acts towards non-profit organizations. The new definition ensures refined and better attuned legal steps to identify foreign agents in a clear and transparent way.