In accordance with the Federal Law, regional heads will be elected by Russian Federation citizens on the basis of equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.
Political parties will put forward candidates for the post of regional head. These candidates can be members of the political party in question, or can be individuals without party affiliation. Regional laws can make provisions for individuals to stand as independent candidates (self-nomination). The President of Russia can take the initiative of holding consultations with political parties and self-nominated candidates.
The law contains a provision on support for candidates for governorship from the members of municipal representative bodies and elected municipal heads, and defines the procedures through which such support can be provided.
The law also defines the self-nomination procedure.
Under the law, regional heads are elected for a term of not more than five years and cannot hold more than two consecutive terms in office. The candidate who receives more than half of the votes cast in the election is considered the winner.
The law makes it possible for voters to revoke the regional head’s mandate if it is established in court that the regional head has violated Russian Federation or regional law or has shown gross and unjustified negligence in the performance of his or her duties, and sets out the key points of the revocation procedure.
The federal law takes effect from June 1, 2012. The first elections under the new law will take place on the second Sunday of October 2012 in the regions in which the regional heads’ mandates end from the date the federal law comes into force through to December 31, 2012 inclusive. Starting in 2013, elections will take place on a single voting day in the year in which the mandate of regional heads already invested with their powers as of the day the federal law came into force ends.