The State Duma of the Russian Federation is the lower chamber of the Federal Assembly, the Russian parliament. The Duma has 450 members (deputies), each elected to a term of five years. Russian citizens at least 21 years old are eligible to run for the Duma. Under the electoral laws enacted in 2004, seats in the Duma are awarded on the basis of the percentage of election votes won by a party. The party then appoints candidates to fill its eligible seats. A party is required to win at least 7 percent of the vote in order to get seats in the Duma.
The latest State Duma elections took place on December 4, 2011. United Russia party won 49.32 percent of the vote, taking 238 (52.88 percent) of the Duma seats. This result was down from 64.30 percent of the vote and 70 percent of the seats in the 2007 elections. The Communist Party received 19.19 percent of the vote and 92 seats, while Just Russia received 13.24 percent and 64 seats, with the Liberal Democratic Party getting 56 seats with 11.67 percent of the vote. Yabloko, Patriots of Russia and The Right Cause parties did not cross the 7 percent election threshold. The list of parties represented in the parliament did not change.
Although United Russia lost a two-thirds majority it had held prior to the 2011 election, it still won a majority of seats, even though it had slightly less than 50 percent of the popular vote. The Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and A Just Russia all gained new seats compared to the previous elections. The next election to the State Duma will take place in September 2016.