CEC member Maya Grishina: to talk about changing the rules of elections to the state Duma late

CEC member Maya Grishina: to talk about changing the rules of elections to the state Duma late

Before the official start of the election campaign in the state Duma remains about half a year, however, de facto pre-election struggle has already begun. On what possible local changes in the electoral legislation, the CEC is going to prevent a Parliament of extremists and why even ordinary users of the Internet do not violate the “day of silence”, in an interview with CEC member Maya Grishina.


In March, expire powers of the CEC will be formed a new band. Going to affect these changes on the quality of preparations for the elections?

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Is a planned thing always happened that, on the basis of the legislation before Federal elections, the CEC was reformed.

Practice has shown that coping, hope, and following composition can handle it.

Especially since there’s the CEC staff, the work plan, we are currently working all the necessary groundwork related to normative regulations of the CEC, almost done.

The planning carried out, this means that for specific activities funded.

– The media are considered as one of probable applicants for a senior position in the new composition of the CEC. If circumstances develop it is suitable, are you ready for this development?

– You should wait the completion of all procedures for determining the new composition of the CEC. Then the Commission will take a collective decision about what functions and powers will be assigned to each member of the CEC. If my candidacy will be supported, we will work in accordance with this General solution.

Autumn in the Federation Council, you said that laws “On basic guarantees of electoral rights” and “On elections of deputies of the state Duma” should be brought into line, as they are “in some matters disagree.” And in December, Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on constitutional legislation and state construction Dmitry Vyatkin (“United Russia”) has made a great draft amendments to these laws. What is it about?

– Synchronization of the laws “On elections of deputies of the state Duma” and “On basic guarantees of electoral rights”.

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September 18 will take place not only Federal but also regional and municipal elections, at least half of the subjects will be voted for election of legislatures and governors. Will be applied as the law “On elections of deputies of the state Duma” and the law on guarantees.

They have differences, and the amendments made by Dmitry Vyatkin, aimed at the guarantee act and the law “On elections of deputies of the state Duma” equally regulated processes for the preparation of the elections of different levels. The law “On elections of deputies of the state Duma” the project is not addressed, there are minimal technical changes.

And the law on guarantees has undergone many changes, but they are all aimed at exactly the same regulated Duma elections and elections in the regions.

Of innovations in both laws, you could highlight?

Is one of those things that is obvious, – regulated operations of the network editions.

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At last they got into General legal regime that gave them the media law in 2012.

Then, in 2014, were made corresponding amendments to the law “On elections of deputies of the state Duma”, and the law on basic guarantees of a little behind. Although online publications have tried in the regional election norms by analogy with conventional media, but questions remained, in what terms they provide services for campaign, may place campaign materials of candidates, whether they can organise a debate. Now, the question is synchronized in all these laws.

With regard to election campaign coverage, voter awareness, there is a single regime, no limits neither the timing nor the volume of information is welcome maximum information about parties and candidates.

– The CEC has proposed amendments to the legislation, concerning so-called immunity of the special election account. Yesterday the Deputy of the state Duma Alexander Ageev (“Fair Russia”) has introduced a bill prohibiting the bailiffs to seize the special election accounts of candidates, and special funds of the referendum. It is expected that the innovation should come into force before the beginning of the Duma campaign?

– Of course, because of the amendment here should be minimal. They just need special treatment of special election accounts.

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Regarding the bill of Alexander Ageeva, the provisions of this document generally follows the bill, Dmitry Vyatkin, which was introduced in late 2015.

In addition, in connection with the strengthening of anti-corruption laws, including international, banks have more and more requirements for checks when opening accounts.

Up to check through the international system to identify corruption factors.

It is clear that the electoral bill is initially transparent, complicated rules is not required here.

And now it turns out that formal banks should undertake very serious checks before opening any account.

It is about the fact that the accounts were opened quickly and the banks did not have this legislative obstacles

For a special election account this check is redundant given that the account is for party, party as the subject is quite transparent. It is about the fact that the accounts were opened quickly and the banks did not have this legislative obstacles.

We have made proposals, discussed them with the relevant departments – Federal tax service, Federal bailiff service, the Central Bank and Sberbank, made preparations. I hope that in the near future in terms of making a legislative initiative will be the solution.

As is the case with the regulation of the Internet and online media in a “day of silence” and the voting day?

In “day of silence” may not be placed campaign materials. Any edition is archive, no one makes clear. The newspaper came out and is in the library with campaign materials. So it is with network publications: previously published materials that I suppose to delete is not necessary.

– But on the old website it can hang on the main page, for example, because popular among readers?

– Well, here it is necessary to consider the media. There is a site moderator, he knows that is probably not necessary to apply any special technology to bring old content to the main page.

– And what about bloggers, especially popular with more than 3 thousand readers a day and is included in the special register of roskomnadzora? They can agitate?

Bloggers are not media, it is expressly written in the law on mass media. But in “day of silence” no one can agitate, no blogger in his blog, nor a citizen can not go to the square and to call to vote for someone.

– I can in a “day of silence” to write in their personal, unpopular blog appeal to vote for someone specific?

I wouldn’t recommend you to do it. The rule that prohibits campaigning on election day and during the day on the eve of the vote, applied equally to all citizens of the Russian Federation. You’re a blogger or not a blogger. However, this always causes debate.

– Are there any surgical methods of agitation to block content on the Internet “day of silence” and election day?

– No, if it’s not extremist material.

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In General, the facts of bringing to administrative responsibility for violations of campaign rules a single.

In General it is not an actual theme.

The past election campaign showed a surge of complaints to the Internet.

There is some sort of settlement, orderliness.

There is absolutely no question of the monitoring of the Internet, it is simply not within the purview of the CEC, and not in any physical capabilities of either body.

Don’t need to sacrelicious the Internet, it is a platform for public or private sharing of ideas, for communication.

Don’t need to secretservice Internet

Legislative regulation covers only some of the functioning of the Internet, and there are still many technological issues that the CEC alone will not solve.

Another widely discussed topic – the ways to participate in elections for those convicted. Earlier you noted that the law on General principles of organization of local self-government and the electoral law there is a mismatch, in which the convicted for minor crimes there is a “loophole” for repeated participation in municipal elections. What work is being done to resolve this problem?

– This question is under discussion, currently, no statutory steps have not been taken.

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I think that in itself is a discussion of this issue has benefited, the legislator thought to himself, I guess, this situation not considered necessary at present to restrict the passive right to vote. Even if the head of the municipality has committed a crime and suffered the appropriate punishment, the legislator, obviously, sees no reason to interfere with his nomination.

He was punished, and then citizens decide whether punished this man. There is a certain logic, perhaps, to continuously expand the limits of the right to be elected is not worth it, the legislator should take this with a sufficient degree of prudence. Any such restriction is the way to the constitutional court, which will decide whether this is reasonable. Therefore, the legislator is quite wary of new restrictions, I understand this logic and agree.

… Are there prerequisites for liberalization of the electoral legislation? In particular, some parties are saying about the overly high requirements for collection of signatures.

– I think now to talk about changing the rules of elections to the state Duma late. It would be wrong to rewrite the basic parameters of the legislation before the election. There is a principal intention of the legislators not to touch the rules, they should be known in advance. These rules are quite strict, complex. Those who are not included in the list of 14 parties are exempted from collecting signatures of voters, we need to prepare seriously. But the rules are fixed and stable, is, I think, a plus.

– Recently the head of the presidential administration of Russia Sergei Ivanov said that the Russian Parliament elections should be “reliably blocked for extremists and radicals”. As the CEC will be to fight this kind of campaign members?

– The law clearly says that, in particular, can’t stand persons with removed and a conviction, as well as persons with administrative penalties for extremism.

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So, to participate in elections, not those who have incurred administrative liability under articles 20.3 (propaganda or public demonstration of Nazi attributes or symbols or attributes or symbols of extremist organizations) and 20.29 (production and distribution of extremist materials) of the code of administrative violations. The Commission conducts a review, we requested law enforcement data on all candidates.

If the police work as they should, and provide us with the information, then the related parties will not be able to exercise their passive right to vote, if voting in the election will be held before the expiry of the period during which the person is subject to administrative punishment.

The purpose of these legislation and prevention

In addition, if a person was accused of extremist propaganda in the last elections, these he may not be promoted, but in recent times this was not the case.

The purpose of these legislation is preventive. One sees that, if he violates the law, he will not only be removed from the elections, and deprived for some time of the right to be elected.

The CEC regularly heard proposals on regulation of activities of election observers. Are there any plans to Commission the preparation of any peer developments, proposals that would become the bill?

– The law “On elections of deputies of the state Duma” healthy progress in the field of regulation of election observation two years ago. There, finally, directly stipulates the right of observers to conduct a photo – and filming, the duty of election Commission to allow observers at the polling station at least an hour before they open. The law also stipulates the inadmissibility of the removal of observers, except by a court decision that has much to protect from conflict situations electoral Commission, because they will not be able by its decision to remove the observers. With regard to further proposals of the CEC, we last year expressed in the public space, at the moment everything is in the hands of the legislator. We have some new options are not offered.

– Currently, public organizations can send observers to the elections. While in Russia there are some large organizations, the profile of which is election observation. Do not plan any legislative amendments?

– In the law “On basic guarantees of electoral rights” noted that observers have the right to send only candidates and electoral Association party. The law of the subject of Federation, public organizations, this right can be given in some regions this rate is, for example, in the Kemerovo region. Although personally I observers from non-governmental organizations in the areas not met.

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With regard to further expanding the rights of public associations in the law, we nothing new is offered. We demand that the observers of professionalism, we ask them not to create a conflict situation and not to be charged on the conflict. Unfortunately, the technology, when the observer is charged to create on the site unacceptable situation. For example, when voters are suitable to get newsletters, the observer believes it possible to interrupt this process, to begin to require performance primarily their rights. These technologies are aimed at creating doubts about the election results. This would be a rare cases but they should be minimized, parties and candidates should be responsible for their observers.

We encourage candidates to enhance the professionalism of its observers

We encourage candidates to enhance the professionalism of its observers. For this we will take a number of measures we have agreed upon plans, suggesting activities for the training of observers. Of course, without the consent of the candidates and electoral associations, without their cooperation in this matter is not to move. We want the observer was an assistant for the organization of the voting in strict accordance with the law.

For this we will also train the members of election commissions, to the extent possible with limited funding. On the other hand, will and professionalism of observers to appeal. We hope for productive collaboration, legislation on elections of deputies of the state Duma has created all the prerequisites for this.

– In the media, it was suggested that election observation can attract Russian popular front (onf). Is this possible?

– From the point of view of the law the observer can be appointed either by a party or candidate. If the representatives of the popular front will be coming as observers from political parties or candidates, no questions asked.

– The number of observers from one candidate or party can be anything?

– From a candidate or party on the site can simultaneously be two representatives – the member of the precinct election Commission with deliberative vote and observers. Observers can be assigned a few, but they have to turn monitor.

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There is an initiative of the Communist party to limit the number of observers in the area from one party (the applicant) to five. In this idea there is logic, as the previous campaigns had revealed another technology of voter bribery.

Observers are assigned a large number of people, they come to the site, five minutes will sit, will vote – they will the electors still, and for the supervision of legally issued some amount. In such cases, the observers come to the land not to enforce the law, and Vice versa. Such situations undermine the work of the Commission. When there is a large influx of observers, the Commission must each register, constantly distracted by registered observers, at least one member of the Commission. Therefore, the initiative of the Communist party – a normal measure against abuse.

– The head of the presidential Council on human rights (HRC) Mikhail Fedotov said that the representatives of NGOs designated as “foreign agents”, will be part of the special monitoring group for the elections. How to CEC relate to this? In General is there some interaction of the CEC with such NGOs as “the Voice”?

– We cooperate with the HRC and those organizations recognized as “foreign agents”, it is difficult for us to cooperate, given that the law expressly States that they should not have to do with elections. With regard to the formation of the monitoring group at the HRC, I think closer to the election it will be clear how it will work. There is rule of law – the organization may not participate in election monitoring to send observers. But HRC has the right to monitor and connect to those citizens, whom it sees fit.

– In past presidential elections, all polling stations were equipped with video cameras, were broadcast on the Internet. Is it possible that on 18 September, this experience will be repeated? Is it worth it?

– The law “On elections of deputies of the state Duma” it is possible to use video cameras. Must be a broadcast image, but there is an exception relating to hospitals, the jail. This is all enshrined in law, but with the possibility. Spending on installation and operation of cameras large. Given the financial situation in the country at the camera locations can be established only as a result of higher political solution, maybe then there will be found some financial reserves.

– Who exactly should make that decision – the state Duma, the President, the government?

– Money should allocate the government. And so it did, should accept the decision of the highest state bodies. The Ministry of Finance cannot on its own initiative to look for money.

Now nothing in the budget for this theme is not provided

Must be special order. Now nothing in the budget for this theme is not provided. If the authorities give a relevant order, the order, it will be possible.

Last time was the order of the President, funding was secured from the reserve. It was within the budget process. The possibility that areas of Duma elections will be equipped with cameras saved. There is only a question of technical performance that had the camera set.

– This year the CEC is to receive free airtime on national television to inform citizens. How to use this feature, in what form will be “educating” voters?

– In the work plan of the CEC for the coming year is planned to organize performances on TV.

Generally to carry out such educational work can be in the form of speeches of officials of the Commission of experts or in the form of spot placement.

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But on the rollers, as I understand it, the money this year, so we will involve experts. We have a huge public scientific-methodological Advisory Board with recognized experts in the field of electoral rights, we hope our internal intellectual potential.

On specific formats, to speak prematurely. Here everything depends on the fee – will consultation with the channels. Of course, you must strive to ensure that the relevant information was offered in an accessible form and within a reasonable time, the so-called Prime time.