At the proposal of parliamentary speaker Magomed Daudov, Chechnya’s 41 lawmakers voted unanimously on June 16 to dissolve the legislature and schedule preterm parliamentary elections for September 18, concurrently with elections for the new Russian State Duma and for the post of Chechen Republic head. Both Daudov and acting Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov adduced as the rationale for that decision the need to avoid the additional expenditure a separate parliamentary ballot would entail. The money saved could, Daudov suggested, be invested in economic development or resolving social problems. Russian commentators have cast doubt on that argument, however. Aleksei Makarkin of the Center for Political Technologies pointed out that since the outgoing parliament was elected in September 2013 for a five-year term, it would have been equally feasible to save money by scheduling a parliamentary ballot concurrently with the Russian presidential election due no later than March 2018, i.e. just six months early.
Political scientist Rostislav Turovsky said the amount saved by holding a preterm parliamentary ballot in September 2016 would not be large. Turovsky opined that Kadyrov’s real motive was to inject “new blood” into the parliament by weeding out lawmakers who have already served three terms and replacing them with younger people who, while lacking in administrative experience, are 100 percent loyal to Kadyrov personally.
Kheda Saratova, who heads Chechnya’s presidential human rights commission, similarly suggested that Kadyrov was not satisfied with the work of the current parliament. She observed that “there are people who just sit there and do nothing, which is a reason for renewing them with younger and more energetic [people] who will prove more useful.”
Full Article: Chechnya Schedules Preterm Parliamentary Elections.