Russia Needs Early Duma Elections – Ex

Former finance minister Alexei Kudrin, who currently chairs the Civil Initiatives Committee, said on Friday that early parliamentary elections in Russia would improve the situation in the country.

“Holding new elections at some time… would be a very serious and good step to revitalize the political situation in the country,” he told the Finam FM radio.

Kudrin said Russian parties should be given “about one and a half or two years at least so that they could get on their feet” and then new elections should be held.

“That would substantially defuse the situation,” he said, adding that allegations of numerous violations during the recent parliamentary and presidential elections had undermined people’s trust in elections.

On May 2, then President Dmitry Medvedev signed legislation exempting political parties from the need to collect signatures to run in parliamentary elections and reducing the number of signatures needed for running in presidential elections.

Kudrin, 51, a longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin, was dismissed as finance minister and deputy prime minister last year following a row with Medvedev over budget issues including rising defense spending.

In April, Putin, then prime minister, thanked Kudrin for his firm and responsible financial policy that helped Russia weather the economic and financial meltdown of 2008-2009.


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