President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,
The election campaign is over, and the single election day in Russia saw elections in virtually all of the regions. The competition was for more than 90,000 regional and local authority mandates.
Everyone who took part in this process did a lot of work, and I want to specially thank those people who were in charge of preparing and holding the elections – representatives of political parties, public organisations, and observers who were controlling the voting.
I want to note that the voter turnout has increased: our citizens voted more actively, voicing their positions and expressing interest in the way their village, city or region will develop.
I believe it is important that the citizens support those political forces that back the country’s progressive development and consolidation of its sovereignty, support those candidates who are closer to people, whom the people see, know and understand what these candidates competing for various posts want to achieve, first of all, for their voters.
The election campaign was open, honest and sometimes quite fierce. As regards the election of regional heads, in some regions the fight was for every vote, and in one region, as you know, the second round will need to be held to determine the winning candidate, and I think that on the whole this is not bad, because this proves that the competition was open, honest and transparent. And the people there are worthy, I mean, both candidates.
Despite the intensity of the competition, all the parties that participated in the elections have confirmed the legitimacy of the voting mechanism and the results themselves, which once again shows that Russia is developing a mature multi-party system, and our political culture is growing. The set standards for holding truly open, competitive and legitimate election procedures should certainly be ensured in the upcoming 2016 State Duma elections as well.
This election campaign once again confirmed that the parliamentary parties play a key, system-forming role in our nation’s political life. Incidentally, their representatives were the main competitors in this gubernatorial election. Meanwhile, the non-parliamentary parties are drawing increasing attention; they actively participated in the last election at many different levels.
I will also note that many strong candidates – your opponents in these elections – will likely be State Duma candidates next year, including in single-mandate constituencies from your regions. And it’s good to see such prominent individuals who enjoy public esteem.
I just noted that both parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties participated actively in the elections. Incidentally, my colleagues and I were just saying that we will have twice as many political parties participating in the 2016 State Duma elections as last time: ten non-parliamentary parties have the right to participate directly in the elections, plus four parliamentary parties. We had only seven parties participating in the last State Duma elections, but this time, we will have 14.
I am confident that serious competition will help bring to the federal parliament those political forces that will prove their ability to resolve the most pressing issues that concern people through their actions, not just words.
Colleagues, the support you received from citizens means exactly one thing: you must work with greater impact, with even more concerted effort. This is true of you and your teams.
We need to constantly give attention to people, regardless of the political calendar, and we must do this without resorting to current difficulties, without shying away from problems. And friends, what’s most important is that if you have come into power, if you have been elected, if the people have entrusted you with such high offices, then you must work honestly and ensure your full dedication; otherwise, you should not have campaigned to be elected. It would seem as if I’m talking about basic things, but practice shows that not everyone and not everywhere always knows these basic things. But we should never forget about them.
And, of course, given the upcoming State Duma election, it is important to work to bring the public together, to unite all the constructive forces to resolve key challenges in our nation’s development.
I expect that you all understand the level of responsibility and are ready to engage in serious practical work.
Thank you for your attention.