Medvedev Sets Duma Elections For December 4

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has signed a decree naming December 4 as the date for elections to the lower house of parliament, the State Duma.

Addressing a meeting with political party leaders in Sochi, Medvedev said he hopes “the makeup of the future Duma reflects the preferences of the broadest circle of our citizens to the maximum extent possible.”

“I think in recent years, together with the parliamentary majority and in fact with all the parties that have taken part in this, we have been able, after all, to improve the quality of our democracy,” Medvedev said. “It doesn’t mean we have done absolutely everything, but [our democracy] has simply become more modern.”

There are seven registered political parties in Russia, all of which have already expressed their intention to take part in Duma elections.

The United Russia party, led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will seek to retain its majority in the 450-seat Duma.

United Russia is scheduled to hold its annual congress in Moscow on September 23-24.

Duma elections come some three months ahead of Russian presidential elections.

The date for the presidential elections has not yet been set.

compiled from agency reports

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