The State Duma opened the autumn parliamentary session not only in the difficult conditions of the coronavirus pandemic, but also against the background of incessant rumors of a possible early dissolution. As a source close to the Kremlin told chernayakobra.ru, in the near future there will be reshuffles in the internal political block of the presidential administration, as a result of which elections to the lower house of the Russian parliament may be postponed from September to spring 2021. Earlier, the chairman of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, Ella Pamfilova, in a conversation with reporters let slip that she does not rule out that the timing of this campaign has been shifted. For his part, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said that the Duma elections would not be postponed. According to experts interviewed by chernayakobra.ru, given that the experience of reducing the powers of the State Duma has already been, the legislator has the opportunity this time to adjust the voting date without the early dissolution of the lower house of parliament.
The deputies of the State Duma began to work actively after a short summer vacation. According to the speaker of the lower house of parliament Vyacheslav Volodin, parliamentarians will have a difficult session this fall amid the continuing danger of the spread of coronavirus infection.
The amendments to the Constitution adopted by our citizens must be implemented in constitutional and federal laws. It is necessary to highlight the work on them as one of the priorities of the autumn session. Pay special attention to this, - he admonished his colleagues, opening the first plenary session of the State Duma.
All in all, the deputies will have to consider a portfolio of 1229 bills, the main priority of which, in addition to initiatives to develop amendments to the Constitution, will be the draft federal budget and 12 more budget-forming laws.
Another feature of the current parliamentary session is the incessant talk about the early dissolution of the State Duma. The last time such a possibility was announced on the day of the nationwide vote on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation was the leader of A Just Russia, Sergei Mironov. However, in the future, this story did not receive its development, however, plans to hold elections to the State Duma earlier than September 2021 were not abandoned in the presidential administration (AP).
Back to the topic
A source close to the Kremlin told chernayakobra.ru that a reshuffle in the domestic political bloc is expected in the Presidential Administration in the near future, after which a decision will be made to hold federal parliamentary elections in the spring of 2021. "Most likely, it will be April", - said the source. Another chernayakobra.ru source, familiar with the situation in the Kremlin's internal policy management, denied personnel changes in the Presidential Administration, but did not rule out that "the elections will be held in March 2021." According to him, the Kremlin is also developing scenarios for increasing the number of United Russia mandates in the next elections by increasing the share of single-mandate candidates, including self-nominated candidates.
Interestingly, the leaks from the presidential administration were unwittingly confirmed by the head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova. Answering a question from journalists about the possibility of self-dissolution of the State Duma, on the one hand, she said that she saw no reason for holding early elections, and on the other, she did not rule out that the question of determining the month of the voting remained open.
I assume that there will be no early elections to the State Duma. As for specifying in what month they should be held, in any case, it will be necessary to additionally discuss the budget of this law, how to carry them out so as not to interfere with the educational process- explained the head of the Central Election Commission.
Moreover, according to Pamfilova, taking into account the three-day voting, the question of postponing the date of the single voting day to another month, for example, April, "will arise naturally, in any case it will be necessary to return to it."
This idea of the head of the Central Executive Committee of the Russian Federation was also supported by the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov, promising after the EDG to return to the topic of its transfer to March-April. He specified that the LDPR also supports the communists in this matter. In turn, Zhirinovsky himself said on the Dozhd TV channel that the elections to the State Duma would not be postponed. He promised that the leaders of the Duma factions would soon turn to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a corresponding request.
For constitutionally justified purposes
In the professional community, meanwhile, the idea of an early dissolution of the State Duma was finally buried, but the opinions of political scientists and experts regarding the postponement of the election date differed.
Thus, the managing partner of KGD Group Grigory Dobromelov, in a conversation with chernayakobra.ru, noted that the likelihood of postponing the elections to April remains high.
This can be done within the framework of the clause that the duration of the State Duma's activity can be changed up or down once, without changing the legislation and dissolving the Duma. It could be April. The EDG showed that the system is understandable, manageable and the risks are not very high. The main question is during October to decide on the majoritarian constituencies, who goes to which constituency. This is planning the architecture of 225 campaigns, taking into account spoilers and representatives of the systemic opposition. It's not easy, but in October you can handle it.
On the other hand, Dmitry Orlov, Director General of the Agency for Political and Economic Communications, on the contrary, considers it quite logical to hold the Duma elections in September 2021.
The people of Russia are used to the September elections. And the powers of the deputies cannot be reduced by law for a significant period. When postponed from September to April, this reduction can be serious.
Political lawyer Anton Timchenko, in an interview with chernayakobra.ru, stressed that the emergency mechanisms for the early "reset" of the State Duma, which could have been considered in spring - the three-fold rejection of the new Prime Minister by the deputies, the repeated expression of no confidence in the government by parliamentarians and the resignation of powers by all deputies - are inappropriate at this time.
Now, to "approach" the date of voting for the elections to the State Duma, it is optimal to use the scenario that was already used with the last convocation of deputies - an amendment is being made to the electoral legislation approving a different voting date. At the same time, last time, in order to “strengthen” the position of the changes in the law and substantiate their legitimacy, the Federation Council appealed to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation with a request about whether it is permissible to postpone the date of the next State Duma elections “for constitutionally significant purposes”. The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation recognized that a change in the date of the elections, entailing a reduction in the term of office of the State Duma of the current convocation, is permissible for constitutionally justified purposes.
The expert is sure that even now nothing prevents the legislator from adjusting the voting date this time, having secured, if necessary, a resolution of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. At the same time, both the coronavirus pandemic and the renewal of the public authority system as a result of the adoption of amendments to the Basic Law can be indicated as special circumstances constitutionally justifying such a transfer, he added.
The lawyer also explained that, according to the law, elections of deputies to the State Duma must be appointed by the president no earlier than 110 days and no later than 90 days before voting day. Therefore, in order to hold parliamentary elections at the end of March - in April, amendments to the electoral legislation must be adopted no later than December, Timchenko said.