President Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
The anniversary of the electoral system in Russia comes at the beginning of the electoral campaign for elections of deputies to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russia.
I must say that over 10 years, the Russian electoral system has passed very important stages in its formation, development, and undoubtedly the acknowledgement by the international community, which is also important from the viewpoint of the establishment of democracy in the country.
This date is a good opportunity for a balanced self-evaluation, for a summary – of course, an intermediary summary – and to clarify perspectives of development for the country’s electoral system.
The Russian Constitution determines the legal framework, the format, the fundament for the formation of bodies of state power, and for the construction of the entire electoral system.
Today, a significant amount of experience has been accumulated in election campaigns and on elections of various bodies of power and administration. Five federal election campaigns have been held, including elections to the State Duma, elections of the President of the country, and over 6,000 regional and local elections. An automated election system has been created, to a large extent thanks to your efforts, which can quickly calculate the results of voting right across the territory of the country. For us, of course, this is extremely important, bearing in mind the enormous size of our country.
Elections are always a very important political event in the life of any country, a powerful impulse and stimulus to the development of democracy. The most recent history of Russia has many times demonstrates the key role played by the institution of free elections. It is sufficient just to remember the serious crisis at the beginning of the 1990s, from which our country was able to emerge solely thanks to elections and the passing of the Constitution.
For us, it is obvious that elections are one of the political and legal tools of stable civil society and steady development of the state.
Today, it is necessary to increase the role and responsibility of political parties in the electoral process, to achieve full transparency of their financial activity.
And it is very pleasing for me to note that the Central Electoral Commission, everyone who has gathered today in this hall, the experts which you rely on – this entire group has made a very serious, significant and positive contribution in this process.
I believe a very serious achievement is the independence of electoral commissions, more active involvement of civil society in controlling the organization and process of voting, and calculating its results.
I would particularly like to note the activity of the Electoral Commission of the Chechen Republic. It is understandable that its members have to work in very serious conditions. Therefore it is very important for them to constantly feel our common support, the support of the Central Electoral Comission. It is also necessary to increase professionalism, and for them to feel the support of the country in your person.
In conclusion, I would like to wish you fruitful work.