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Two Candidates Runnning For Most Parliament Seats

March 2, 1989

MOSCOW (AP) _ An average of two candidates will be running for each seat when Soviets cast ballots for a new parliament on March 26, an election official said Wednesday.

Some voting districts will still only have one candidate, but others will have three or four, said Dmitry Golovko, deputy director of the central electoral commission.

The new parliament, the Congress of People’s Deputies, will have 2,250 members and will elect a Supreme Soviet from within its ranks to act as a full-time, two-house legislative body.

″Two candidates will compete for one seat in nearly 1,000 constituencies, and more than 200 have registered three or more candidates,″ Golovko said.

The complex process of nominating candidates from 1,500 regional election districts began in December and ended on Feb. 23 with the registration of candidates with the central electoral commission.

Candidates put forward by official organizations, such as the Communist Party and large trade unions, were registered on Jan. 29 for the 750 seats allocated to them under the new election laws.

Golovko said 80 percent of the candidates belonged to the Communist Party, a percentage higher than in previous elections; 20 percent were women and nearly 40 percent were workers or farmers.

″The Soviet people are playing an active part in this campaign and have sent more than 7,000 letters and suggestions to the central electoral commission over the past three months,″ Golovko said.

He said many letters suggested improvements in the new election law, which has confused many voters. Golovko admitted the law had ″some imprecisions″ that need clarification.

″The commission will analyze the current election campaign and submit suggestions to the Soviet parliament to improve the Soviet electoral law,″ he said.

If a candidate fails to win a 51 percent majority, a new election will be held in that district within two weeks of the March 26 election, Golovko said.

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