United Russia seeks support on mandatory primaries plan

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party has said it will only push ahead with plans to introduce mandatory primary elections if other parties back the proposal.

“We will initiate the bill if there’s all-round support,” an official for the United Russia party, which has a ruling majority in Russia’s parliament, said on Friday.

United Russia was “not going to take advantage of its majority,” Sergei Neverov said.

Russia will hold parliamentary elections in December and then a presidential vote in March next year.

Putin suggested compulsory primaries at a meeting of the All-Russia People’s Front, an amorphous group that analysts say is designed to broaden United Russia’s support.

Pavel Salin, an analyst at the Moscow-based Center for Political Assessments, told RIA Novosti the new scheme would do little to tackle the bribery and corruption involved in getting on party lists.

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