Dagestani parliament adopts draft law on parliamentary election

DAGESTAN, 29 September, Caucasus Times – All MPs to the Dagestani People’s Assembly will be elected according to party lists, following a decision adopted by the republic’s legislative body. At its session, the parliament adopted at a first reading a draft law “On the election of People’s Assembly MPs”. Henceforth there will be 72 deputies (there are now 121) in the Dagestani parliament and they will all be elected based on party lists.

MPs were not happy at the possibility of a quota being placed on ethnic representation in parliament. It was revealed from the speech by the chairman of the republican electoral commission, Magomed Khalitov, that those who drew up the new law sought to find solutions which would enable the representation in parliament of all ethnic groups in the republic and all territorial formations to be preserved. In the end they decided on a plan whereby party lists at the elections to the People’s Assembly would be split into groups corresponding to municipal districts (there will be three groups in Makhachkala). The number of people in a group is determined by the population of the municipal formation: up to 25,000 means up to two persons, up to 50,000 three persons, and over 50,000 four persons. There should be a total of no more than 110 people in the list and all 55 territorial groups must be represented.

All these contrivances should ensure representation in parliament of all territorial formations in Dagestan. It should be pointed out that the draft law establishes a seven-per cent threshold on a party entering the People’s Assembly, and representatives of at least two parties must enter
parliament, even if the second party musters less than seven per cent.

MP Sulayman Uladiyev doubts that the law observes the right of a citizen to be elected because only members of parties or non-party members whom parties wish to include in their election lists can become MPs. If parties do not support such a non-party member, he cannot stand in a parliamentary election.

Sergey Svetlov, Mahachkala, Caucasus Times

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