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22.10.2020, . 22:38


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Chapter I. General Provisions

Article 1. Scope of This Federal Law

Article 2. Main Terms Used in This Federal Law

Article 3. Principles of Conducting Elections and Referenda in the Russian Federation

Article 4. Universal Suffrage and the Right to Participate in Referendum

Article 5. Equal Electoral Rights and the Right to Participate in a Referendum

Article 6. Direct Electoral Rights, the Right to Direct Expression of Will at a Referendum

Article 7. Secret Ballot

Article 8. Term of Powers of Bodies of State Power and Local Self-Government

Article 9. Obligatory Nature of Elections

Article 10. Setting of Elections

Article 11. Guarantees of the Electoral Rights of Citizens to Elections in the Absence of an Election Law of the Subject of the Russian Federation


Democratic free and periodical elections of bodies of state power, bodies of local government, as well as referenda shall be the supreme direct expression of power that belongs to people. The state shall guarantee the free expression of citizens' will at elections and referenda, the protection of democratic principles and norms of electoral rights and the right to participate in a referendum.

Article 1. Scope of This Federal Law

1. This Federal Law defines basic guarantees for implementation by the citizens of the Russian Federation of their constitutional right to participate in a referendum, referendum of Subject of Russian Federation and local referenda as well as the right to elect and be elected to the federal bodies of state power and bodies of state power of the Subjects of Russian Federation and other federal state bodies and state bodies of the Subjects of Russian Federation as provided for by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, constitutions or charters of Subjects of Russian Federation and elected directly by citizens as well as to the bodies of local self-government.

2. This Federal Law shall be of direct action and applies in the entire territory of the Russian Federation.

3. The federal constitutional laws, other federal laws, laws of Subjects of Russian Federation may set forth guarantees of electoral rights of citizens and the right to participate in a referendum supplementing the guarantees set forth in this Federal Law.

4. The issues related to the announcing, preparing and holding of a referendum of the Russian Federation shall be regulated by the Federal Constitutional Law On the Referendum of the Russian Federation. The norms of this Federal Law shall apply in so far as they do not conflict with the said Federal Constitutional Law.

5. The basic guarantees of electoral rights and the right of citizens of the Russian Federation to participate in a referendum set forth by this Federal Law as well as additional guarantees set forth by federal constitutional laws, other federal laws, laws of Subjects of Russian Federation may be amended in no other way than by making amendments and changes to the relevant laws.

6. Should, in the course of an election campaign, during a referendum, any changes or amendments be introduced in the federal law or the law of a Subject of Russian Federation regulating elections, referenda, in the provisions of the charter of a municipal unit regulating local referenda, the said changes and amendments shall take effect after the end of the election campaign, referendum.

7. Federal laws, laws of Subjects of Russian Federation, normative legal acts on elections and referenda adopted in the Russian Federation shall not conflict with this Federal law. Should federal laws, laws of Subjects of Russian Federation, normative legal acts on elections and referenda adopted in the Russian Federation conflict with this Federal Law, the norms of this Federal Law shall apply.

Article 2. Main Terms Used in This Federal Law

The following terms are used in this Federal Law:

propaganda materials shall mean printed, audio, video and other materials containing signs of election propaganda, propaganda on referendum issues designed for public dissemination during the election campaign or during the referendum;

propaganda on referendum issues shall mean the activities of citizens of the Russian Federation, initiative groups for the referendum, public associations which is aimed at holding or preventing the referendum as well as at encouraging referendum participants to vote or refrain from voting at the referendum, to support or reject the issues discussed at the referendum;

election propaganda shall mean the activities of citizens of the Russian Federation, candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs, public associations, permitted by law and conducted by legal methods which is aimed at encouraging votes to participate in the election and to vote for or against certain candidates (lists of candidates);

elections in Russian Federation shall mean the elections of President of the Russian Federation, elections of deputies of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, elections of bodies of state power of Subjects of the Russian Federation, other federal state bodies and state bodies of Subjects of the Russian Federation, to be elected directly by citizens of the Russian Federation as well as elections of local self-government pursuant to the laws corresponding to the level of elections;

nomination of a candidate shall mean an initiative of voters, an electoral association, electoral bloc, to determine a candidacy to the elective body or an elective office of state power or local self-government, as well as collection of signatures in support of such an initiative or other forms of support of it provided for by federal constitutional law, federal laws, law of a Subject of the Russian Federation;

guarantees of electoral rights of citizens and right of citizens to participate in a referendum shall mean legal, administrative, informational and other support ensuring electoral rights and the right to participate in a referendum of citizens of the Russian Federation;

deputy shall mean a person elected by voters of the corresponding electoral district to a representative body of state power or to a body of local self-government on the basis of a universal, equal and direct suffrage with secret ballot;

voter shall mean a citizen of the Russian Federation eligible to vote;

election campaign shall mean the period from the official publication of the decision of a duly authorized official, body of state power, body of local self-government regarding the setting of the election till the official publication of the election results;

electoral association shall mean political public association (a political party, political organization, political movement) which has been established and registered in accordance with federal laws, laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation at the level corresponding to the level of the elections or at a higher level. A political public association or modifications and amendments introduced into the charter of a public association to grant it the status of a political association shall be registered not later than a year before voting day and, when elections to a legislative (representative) or an executive body of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation, a body of local self-government are set in the event of early termination of the powers of the given body, this period shall be reduced to six months. These time requirements shall not be applied to other modifications and amendments introduced into the charter of a political public association;

right to vote shall mean the right of a citizen of the Russian Federation to elect bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government;

the right to be elected shall mean the right of a citizen of the Russian Federation to be elected to bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government;

election commissions shall mean the collective (collegial) bodies established in the procedure and terms set forth by federal laws, laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation, in charge of the preparation and administration of elections;

electoral rights of citizens shall mean the constitutional right of citizens of the Russian Federation to elect and be elected to the bodies of state power and elective bodies of local self-government including, but not limited to taking part in the nomination of candidates (lists of candidates), election campaign and public monitoring over the course of elections, election-related activities of election commissions, including the vote tabulation and determination of election results, as well as to participate in other election related activities;

electoral bloc shall mean a voluntary union of two or more electoral associations formed for joint participation in the election. An electoral bloc shall have the rights of an electoral association;

electoral district shall mean a territory formed in compliance with federal constitutional laws, federal laws, laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation at which a deputy (deputies) or an elective official (officials) is elected directly by citizens of the Russian Federation;

electoral district, multi-mandate (multi-mandate electoral district) shall mean an electoral district wherein several deputies are to be elected, with voters voting for each deputy separately;

candidate shall mean a person nominated in accordance with a procedure established by this Federal Law, federal constitutional laws, other federal laws, laws of Subjects of Russian Federation for an office filled through direct elections or for membership in a body (chamber of a body) of state power or a body of local self-government;

registered candidate shall mean a person registered with the relevant election commission as a candidate for the office of President of the Russian Federation, a candidate for deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, a candidate for deputy of the legislative (representative) body of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation, a candidate for the office of the Head of the executive body of a Subject of the Russian Federation, a candidate to the elective body of local self-government or an elective office of municipal unit, a candidate for an office in other federal state bodies, state bodies of a Subject of the Russian Federation provided by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, constitutions, charters of Subjects of the Russian Federation and elected directly by citizens, or a candidate for other offices in a body of local self-government provided by the charter of a municipal unit and filled through direct elections;

list of candidates shall mean a single list of persons nominated by an electoral association, electoral bloc for elections to legislative (representative) body of state power or representative body of local self-government that is certified for signature collection or registered with the relevant election commission;

referendum commissions shall mean collegiate bodies established in the procedure and terms set forth by federal constitutional laws, federal laws, laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation, in charge of the preparation and administration of a referendum of the Russian Federation;

observer shall mean a person appointed in the elections by a registered candidate, electoral association, electoral bloc, public association established and registered at a level corresponding to the level of the election or a higher level and, in cases provided by laws of Subjects of Russian Federation, in the elections to bodies of local self-government also by voters; a person appointed in a referendum by the referendum initiative group, a public association established and registered at a level corresponding to the level of the referendum or a higher level;

foreign (international) observer shall mean a person representing a foreign or international organization that is entitled to monitor the preparation and administration of elections and referenda in the Russian Federation in the procedure set forth by this Federal Law;

bodies of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation shall mean legislative (representative) bodies of state power and heads of executive power of Subjects of the Russian Federation, other state bodies provided by constitutions, charters of Subjects of the Russian Federation which are elected directly by citizens of the Russian Federation in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal laws, constitutions, charters, laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation;

bodies of state power, federal (federal bodies of state power) shall mean President of the Russian Federation, the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, other federal state bodies provided by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and elected directly by Russian Federation citizens in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal constitutional laws, federal laws;

bodies of local self-government shall mean representative bodies of local self-government and elective officials of local self-government elected by citizens directly in the territories which are administered by local self-government in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal laws, constitutions, charters, laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation;

right to participate in a referendum shall mean the constitutional right of citizens of the Russian Federation to participate in a referendum of the Russian Federation, a referendum of a Subject of the Russian Federation, a local referendum, including the right to vote on bills and draft normative legal acts, effective laws and normative legal acts, other issues of state and local importance that are within jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, Subjects of the Russian Federation and municipal units;

referendum shall mean a referendum of the Russian Federation, referendum of a Subject of the Russian Federation, local referendum;

referendum, local (local referendum) shall mean voting of Russian Federation citizens permanently or currently residing within the boundaries of one or several municipal units on local issues of importance, conducted in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal laws, constitutions, charters, laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation, and charters of municipal units;

referendum participant shall mean a Russian Federation citizen who has the right to participate in a referendum.

As amended 3/30/99

Article 3. Principles of Conducting Elections and Referenda in the Russian Federation

1. A citizen of the Russian Federation shall participate in elections on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballots.

2. A citizen of the Russian Federation shall participate in a referendum on the basis of universal, equal and direct expression of will by secret ballot.

3. Participation of a citizen of the Russian Federation in elections and referenda shall be free and voluntary. No one shall be entitled to force a citizen of the Russian Federation to participate or prevent him/her from participation in elections and referenda and to express his/her free will.

4. A citizen of the Russian Federation residing abroad shall have all electoral rights at elections to federal bodies of state power and the right to participate at a referendum. Diplomatic and consular agencies of the Russian Federation shall render assistance to citizens of the Russian Federation in the implementation of his/her electoral rights at elections to federal bodies of state power and the right to participate in a referendum of the Russian Federation set forth by this Federal Law, federal constitutional laws and other federal laws.

5. Elections shall not be conducted simultaneously with a referendum of the Russian Federation.

6. Elections to the bodies of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation, elections to the bodies of local self-government, conducted simultaneously with a referendum of Subjects of the Russian Federation, local referendum of a municipal unit shall be subject to laws of a Subject of the Russian Federation.

7. When preparing and holding elections, a referendum, counting votes and tabulating vote returns, determining the results of elections election commissions, referendum commissions shall act openly and publicly.

8. Foreign citizens, except as otherwise provided in Clause 9 Article 4 of this Federal law, stateless persons, foreign legal entities shall not carry on activities which help or impede nomination of candidates (lists of candidates), election of registered candidates.

Article 4. Universal Suffrage and the Right to Participate in Referendum

1. A citizen of the Russian Federation who has reached the age of 18 years shall be entitled to elect, vote at a referendum, participate in other electoral activities and activities pertaining to the preparation of a referendum and upon reaching the age set forth by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal constitutional laws, federal laws, constitutions, charters and laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation, he/she shall be entitled to be elected to the bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government.

2. A citizen of the Russian Federation may elect, be elected, or participate in a referendum, regardless of the sex, race, nationality, language, origin, property and official status, place of residence, religion, beliefs, affiliation to public associations and other factors.

3. Citizens found incapable by a court of law or imprisoned under decision made by a court of law shall not have the right to elect and be elected or to participate in a referendum.

4. Federal constitutional laws, federal laws may set additional qualifications with respect to the rights of citizens of the Russian Federation to elect, related to permanent or current active residence of a citizen in a certain territory of the Russian Federation. These qualifications shall not contain any requirements concerning the duration and period of such residence. The laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation shall grant the right to vote in elections to the bodies of state power of Subjects of the Russian Federation and bodies of local self-government, the right to participate in referenda of Subjects of the Russian Federation, local referenda to all citizens of the Russian Federation, who permanently or currently reside in the territory of the corresponding Subject of the Russian Federation or municipal unit. The fact that a citizen is not present at the place of his/her permanent or current active residence at the time when elections or a referendum are held in this territory shall not be a reason for depriving this citizen of the right to participate in the elections to bodies of state power of the given Subject of the Russian Federation or to bodies of local self-government, a referendum of Subject of the Russian Federation, local referendum.

5. Ballot access restrictions connected with permanent or current active residence* on a certain territory of the Russian Federation may be established only by the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Federal laws, laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation shall not specify any duration and period of permanent or current active residence of a citizen of the Russian Federation in the territory of a Subject of the Russian Federation, municipal unit as a requirement for the provision of the right to be elected.

6. Laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation may establish additional age-related qualifications for Russian Federation citizens to exercise the right to be elected. The minimum age established for a candidate may not exceed 21 years for elections to the legislative (representative) bodies of state power of Subjects of the Russian Federation, 30 years for elections of the Head of the Executive body of Subject of the Russian Federation and 21 years for election of the bodies of state power. No maximum age limit shall be established.

7. The qualifications related to the status of a deputy, elective official, including obligatory resignation from state or municipal service, the legislative (representative) body of state power, the representative body of local self-government, and refrain from other paid activities, shall be set by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal laws, constitutions, charters and laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation.

8. Under international treaties of the Russian Federation and the corresponding federal laws, laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation foreign citizens who permanently reside in the territory of the relevant municipal unit shall have a right to elect and be elected to bodies of local self-government on the same conditions as citizens of the Russian Federation.

Article 5. Equal Electoral Rights and the Right to Participate in a Referendum

Citizens of the Russian Federation shall participate in elections and referenda in the Russian Federation on an equal basis.

Article 6. Direct Electoral Rights, the Right to Direct Expression of Will at a Referendum

A citizen of the Russian Federation shall vote directly at elections and referendum for or against a candidate (lists of candidates) respectively, for or against a referendum issue.

Article 7. Secret Ballot

Voting at elections and referenda shall be by secret ballot which shall exclude any control over expression of citizen's will.

Article 8. Term of Powers of Bodies of State Power and Local Self-Government

1. The term of powers of federal bodies of state power, bodies of state power of Subjects of the Russian Federation, bodies of local self-government shall be established, respectively, by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal constitutional laws, federal laws, constitutions, charters, laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation, charters of municipal units. The term of powers established for bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government and the term of office of elected deputies shall not exceed five years.

2. Any change (prolongation or reduction) in the term of powers of acting elective bodies, elected deputies listed in Clause 1 of this Article shall be prohibited.

3. A provision stipulating change (increase or reduction) of the term of powers of deputies elected to elective bodies set forth by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal constitutional laws, federal laws, the constitution, charter and law of the Subjects of the Russian Federation, charter of a municipal unit, may be put into effect upon expiration of the term of powers of the existing body of state power, the body of local self-government, or the deputy and, if the term of powers of a body of state power, bodies of local self-government is terminated earlier, after termination of the said powers.

Article 9. Obligatory Nature of Elections

Elections of the bodies and deputies specified in Clause 1, Article 8 of this Federal Law shall be obligatory and conducted within the time terms set forth by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal constitutional laws, federal laws, constitutions, charters and laws of Subjects of the Russian Federation, charters of municipal units.

Article 10. Setting of Elections

1. Elections of bodies and officials listed in Clause 1, Article 8 of this Federal Law shall be set by duly authorized bodies or officials in compliance with the terms set by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and federal laws, constitutions, charters and laws of Subjects of Russian Federation, charters of municipal units. In the event of early termination of powers of the body or deputies indicated in Clause 1 Article 8 of this Federal Law the elections shall be set not later than 14 days after such termination of powers. Voting shall be conduced not later than 180 days and not earlier than 70 days after a decision was taken to set the elections. A decision to set the elections shall be taken not later than 65 days before the expiry date of the period for which the corresponding body or the corresponding part of the deputies of a collective body were elected. This decision shall be officially published in the mass media not later than 5 days after its adoption.

2. The election day shall be set only for a calendar day-off. Voting shall not take place on an official holiday.

3. If a duly authorized body or official fails to set elections within the established period pursuant to Article 9 of this Federal Law, or such elections are not set in accordance with the procedure established for early termination of powers of the body or the deputies indicated in Clause 1 Article 8 of this Federal Law and when there is no duly authorized body or official, the elections shall be conducted by the relevant election commission

on the first or the second Sunday of the month following the month in which the powers of the body or the deputies expire. In this case, the decision of the election commission to hold the elections shall be published not later than 7 days after the expiry date of the period established in Clause 1 of this Article for the publication of a decision concerning the setting of the elections;

not later than 180 days after the date of early termination of powers of the body or the deputies. In this case, the decision of the election commission to hold the elections shall be published not later than 7 days after the expiry date of the period established in Clause 1 of this Article for the publication of a decision concerning the setting of the elections.

4. If a duly authorized body or official or the corresponding election commission fail to appoint the date for the election of the bodies or deputies indicated in Clause 1 of Article 8 of this Federal law in due time or if an appropriate election commission is not available and cannot be formed in accordance with procedures established by this Federal Law, the elections shall be called by the appropriate Court on the basis of applications from voters, electoral associations, electoral blocs, bodies of state power and local self-government or procurator. In this case, elections shall be organized and held by a provisional election commission which shall be formed for the preparation and administering of the given elections by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation or the election commission of Subject of the Russian Federation (depending on the level of the elections) within 7 days after the court decision enters into legal force. This election commission shall consist of no more than 15 members and shall be formed in compliance with the requirements to commission membership laid down by Article 23 of this Federal law.

As amended 3/30/99

Article 11. Guarantees of the Electoral Rights of Citizens to Elections in the Absence of an Election Law of the Subject of the Russian Federation

If the term of powers of a body of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation has expired or its powers have been terminated earlier and the Subject of the Russian Federation has no appropriate election law or this law cannot be applied because it has been found by Court to conflict with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, this Federal Law, the constitution, charter, law of the Subject of the Russian Federation, the conformity with which is mandatory for holding the given elections, elections to a body of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation and to a body of local self-government shall be held on the basis of this Federal Law and other federal laws which guarantee the constitutional rights of the Russian Federation citizens to elect and be elected to bodies of state power of Subjects of the Russian Federation, bodies of local self-government. In this case, the law of a Subject of the Russian Federation shall be applied in so far as it does not conflict with the said federal laws.

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