The state Duma Committee clarifies the rules of press accreditation at the polling stations

MOSCOW, February 24. The state Duma Committee on constitutional legislation and state construction recommended to approve the amendments to the election law introducing new requirements for media accreditation for the coverage of elections at the polling stations.

We are talking about amendments to the second reading of the draft law governing the conduct of elections and referenda in the Russian Federation. Deputy Chairman of the Committee Dmitry Vyatkin (“United Russia”) has proposed to introduce compulsory accreditation of media representatives at polling stations, which will receive the representatives of publications who work under an employment contract for at least two months prior to the date of the election.

“Three days before election day the media should submit their lists of representatives who work there are the regular and irregular labour or civil law contract concluded for not less than two months before the elections,” – said Vyatkin.

According to him, the amendment is necessary to prevent penetration of the fake journalists on elections. “The amendments are being made to prevent abuse and intrusion to sites of people who claim to be representatives of the media and journalists, but which are not,” he said.

According to Vyatkin, earlier there were cases when under the guise of journalists to polling stations unauthorized penetrating observers, “people who voted for the money.” “Journalists have a fundamental mission – coverage of the vote. Observers have a very important mission – election observation without intervention in the process in accordance with their objectives, spelled out in the law. Otherwise an abuse of the right,” said Vyatkin.

The impact on observers “For clean elections”

According to the head of the public Council of the organization, member of the CEC of the Russian Federation Denis Panshina, amendments to the electoral law requiring journalists to be accredited to work on sites in day of voting, will not interfere with the work of the Corps of observers “For clean elections”.

Admission to polling stations independent observers from non-governmental organizations is governed by the laws of the regions and in most of the subjects is prohibited. Consequently, some organizations use the media resource. So, the Case “For clean elections” has sent observers to the sites of the registered mass media – networked media “For clean elections.of the Russian Federation”. A similar method was used and the movement in defense of voters ‘ rights “Golos”.

Panshin said that “sees no problems in changing the law”. “Accreditation of journalists is no problem for us. As I understand it, to write a traditional article, not necessarily, but enough to broadcast through social networks, published on the Internet (although online translation through the Periscope (“Periscope”), for example), he said. – And technical side with the accreditation of observers as journalists we will decide according to the requirements of the law.”

Panshin emphasized that the site of the Corps “For clean elections” is an officially registered mass media. According to CEC member, after appropriate amendments, the Corps of observers “For clean elections” may be interesting for parties and individual candidates, because “very few people have such a professional team in the regions that do not need to teach”. “They will be interested in objective social control. On the objectivity of this (amendment) will not be affected”, he said.