President Dmitry Medvedev said he will continue changing electoral law to ensure more parties join parliament, part of efforts to decentralize the power structure created by his predecessor Vladimir Putin.
”Our political system requires further improvement,” Medvedev said outside Moscow today. Proposals probably ”won’t be limited” to a bill to cut the threshold for parties to win seats in the State Duma to 5 percent, he told the leaders of parties represented in parliament, without providing details of additional initiatives.
Putin, now prime minister, centralized power and sidelined opposition in his eight years as president and remains at the center of decision-making after making way for Medvedev in 2008. Medvedev has vowed to loosen federal control and grant more economic freedom to regions and municipalities.
Pro-government parties control 87 percent of seats in the lower house of parliament, or State Duma. The bill to reduce the existing 7 percent parliamentary barrier, imposed during Putin’s presidency, would come into force after elections in December.
The ruling United Russia party, led by Putin, plans to ”maintain its position” in parliament, Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov said. United Russia holds 315 of the Duma’s 450 seats.
Medvedev said he hopes the parliamentary campaign will be “open and honest’’ and that voting will be “absolutely fair.’’