RUSSIAN LEGISLATION ON ELECTIONS AND REFERENDA:PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
The article is devoted to the problems of direct democracy in Russia. As well known, the main forms of direct democracy are elections and referenda. The concepts of “suffrage”, “referendum participation” and “democracy” are interconnected and allow us to characterize status and development of the “state-society” system. Only when determining the level of implementation of electoral rights and right to participate in a referendum of citizens and the guarantee level of these rights can one determine whether the state and society are democratic. In the Russian Federation, free elections and referendums are held only for about thirty years. In comparison with other democratic states this is a short period. Therefore, it is quite understandable that in the Russian socio-political system, in the “society-state” conjunction, it is the state that is leading, its regulatory role remains very significant. Meanwhile, as the authors note, such a role, especially in recent years, is becoming more and more palpable and begins to pose certain threats to direct democracy. The existing legislative restrictions have a serious impact on the implementation of electoral rights and on the practice of holding referenda. In particular, the referendums held at the level of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and the municipal level show that they can only be carried out if there is the will and interest of the authorities. People’s initiatives are usually contrary to the requirements of the law, or are completely ignored.
In the article, the authors reflect on contemporary problems of Russian electoral and referendum law, the importance and necessity of elections and referenda, as well as the impact of legislative prohibitions and restriction on the maintenance of subjective rights.
Keywords: suffrage; referendum; referendum issues
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