Russian Constitutional Court allows for early Duma elections in 2016

The Russian Constitutional Court has allowed for a one-time minor reduction of the State Duma's term in office in order to hold elections to the Duma on the common voting day in 2016.

The court proclaimed on Wednesday that the reduction of the State Duma's tenure for constitutionally important purposes is acceptable given the observance of a number of preconditions, the court press service said.

In particular, the court said this measure can only be applied one time and cannot disrupt the reasonable regularity of elections to the Duma or interrupt its work. The parliamentarians' term in office can be reduced slightly, i.e. by not more than several months, and this measure can be applied only to the current Duma deputies, it said.

The court also ruled that the elections should be rescheduled well beforehand, so as not to restrict the candidates' opportunities to prepare for the election campaign and not to make the elections less competitive.

"The Constitutional Court in its ruling allowed for the possibility of a one-time insignificant reduction of the State Duma's term in office," the court's press service said.

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