Alexander Veshnyakov: Intensive consultations are underway and meetings of the political parties, for example at the forum of the mass media and election commissions of all the Russian regions. There is a general sense that everything is ready for the official start. So, under the Constitution, you have every right to sign the decree.
Vladimir Putin: As we have agreed, I have already signed the decree announcing the elections for the State Duma.
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Vladimir Putin: Obviously, it is up to a court of law to supervise compliance with the laws during the election campaign, but the signal and initial impetus for court action may come from the Central Election Commission as well. I expect that the Central Election Commission will do everything within its power to ensure a fair election campaign; to ensure a normal competitive process free of any dirt which, unfortunately, tends to appear in the debates in the several months preceding the elections. Many things have already become bywords. This does not add to the authority of the administration and to our country in the international arena. This is due to flaws in the legislation. The efforts made in recent years to adjust electoral legislation must bring some positive result in terms of the organisation of the process and in terms of the outcome, which is the most important thing because the voters, the country’s population, would like to see the power and administration bodies, especially the supreme legislative body, staffed by professionals who are able to fulfil the promises made during the course of the election campaign.