The financing of election campaigns at the expense of companies, the ultimate owners of which are state authorities or local self-government, is a very common practice in Russian politics, says the report of the movement ‘Golos’, which will be released on Wednesday (at the disposal).
“Granddaughter” of state-owned companies
Article 58 of the Federal law “On basic guarantees of electoral rights and the right to participate in referendum of citizens of the Russian Federation” stated that the election funds of candidates and electoral associations are prohibited from making donations to public authorities, other state bodies, bodies of local self-government, state and municipal institutions and state and municipal unitary enterprises. Also it was prohibited for legal entities, the authorized capital of which the share of the Russian Federation, subjects of the Russian Federation or municipal formations exceeds 30%.
Quite a long chain makes the financing is from public funds formally lawful, but in fact violates the principle of political neutrality of the state, stresses the author of this report, leading expert of the movement “Voice” Stanislaw Andreychuk.
As examples the report cites the cases of funding the campaign of a candidate for Governor of Arkhangelsk region Igor Orlov (now the head of the region), at that time acting Governor.
The candidate from “United Russia” Orlov received 2 million rubles from “granddaughter” Federal agencies, experts say. These funds are transferred to the United Russia OOO “RO PSDC “Oboronpromkompleks”, the report said. This LLC 100% owned by JSC “Central industrial-delivery enterprise “oboronpromkompleks”, the owners of which are State joint stock company “Oboronpromkompleks”, JSC “MMP “Hammer and Sickle”, KB “Arsenal”. The authors emphasize that the only known founder of the SJC “Oboronpromkompleks” was Federal Ministry of property relations (now the Federal property management Agency).
The Bank “Arsenal” in his time was founded by a group of enterprises of the military-industrial complex and Minatom of Russia. Other 300 thousand rubles donated Orlov LLC “Gazprom gas distribution Arkhangelsk”, which is 100% owned by OJSC “Gazprom gas distribution”. It 99,834% owned by OOO “Gazprom Mezhregiongaz”, which, in turn, owns 100% of Gazprom, reproduces the chain of ownership of “the Voice”.
All receipts on account of election Orlova complies with the requirements of the law on elections of the Governor, said Secretary of the Arkhangelsk regional branch of “United Russia” Sergei Moiseev, who headed the election headquarters of Orlov. “We handed over the financial records of the electoral Commission, we were checked, no violations”, — he added.
A similar example of funding “the Voice” found in the election of the Governor of the Rostov region, where in September he was elected to a new term of United Russia Vasily Golubev.
Him, according to the report, has donated 100 thousand rubles, LLC “Rostas”, which belongs to LLC “GES-invest”. The owner of this company is JSC “Gazprom Gazenergoset”. According to the list of affiliated persons of JSC “Gazprom Gazenergoset” dated July 2, 2015 68,5% of company’s shares owned by OOO “Gazprom Investgazeta”, the remaining 31.5% stake in OOO “Gazprom Mezhregiongaz”. In turn, LLC “Gazprom Investgazeta” 72% is also owned by LLC “Gazprom Mezhregiongaz”, 100% shares owned by “Gazprom”, the report says.
In the election Fund Golubev also donated 100 thousand rubles JSC “Euroservice”, which from 2011 to 2016 received in the Rostov region of state contracts for the sum almost 20 billion rubles.
“As we have seen, a portion of the company’s revenues went to support the election of incumbent Governor,” reads the study. The authors of the report indicate that recent government contracts between the company and regional authorities were signed after the re-election of Golubev.
The press service Golubev are unable to provide you with comments.
Similar examples of “Voice” found in the elections of city councils and regional councils. In particular, to the electoral Fund of the candidate-odnomandatnik Konstantin Zubarev, who was elected to the Voronezh regional Duma from “United Russia”, has received 100 thousand rubles from LLC “Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Lipetsk”. Its founders are the Administration of property and land relations of Lipetsk region and LLC “Gazprom Mezhregiongaz”, 100% of which belongs to “Gazprom”.
Candidates from “United Russia” in the Tomsk city Council Oleg Kovalev and Sergey Panasyuk (both passed in the city Parliament) received 100 thousand roubles from joint-stock company “Escrts”, which is 100% owned by JSC “Tomsk generation”. 98,54% of the shares of this joint stock company is owned by “inter RAO”, is actually controlled by the state, the report said.
Assistant Panasyuk Elena Fadeeva said that violations of funding the election campaign of the Deputy was not. “I was the chief of staff. We did not have any funding, and worked just four people”, — she noted.
For whom does the law
Political scientist Alexander Kynev considers that in this case, the path to further tighten electoral law, “a deadlock and a vicious” law and so tightened more than enough.
“Business and business, here, as in the rule a few handshakes, chain contact various companies. If you toughen the law leaves so that no one will be able to Finance campaigns,” he said.
In contrast, according to Kaneva, should go towards simplifying the law and removing restrictions, as it really suffers from them only the opposition — “the government itself will not punish”. In practice, monitors elections and political parties office quite peacefully react to such things or not notice them at all, says the expert.
But in such reports the reaction of the authorities is expressed most often in issues from their authors, the expert adds.
The “Voice” has been monitoring the violations during the elections. In June 2014 the Ministry of justice submitted the “Golos” Association in the registry of foreign agents. After that, the organization existed as the Association of NGOs “In defense of voters’ rights “Golos”, was reregistered as a movement in defense of voters ‘ rights “Golos”.
In “the Voice” believe that their work is even more aggravated after the adoption of the legislative amendments recently introduced in the state Duma United Russia. The amendments introduce additional requirements for journalists on election day. The new system will not allow candidates and non-profit organizations to send to the polling stations its observers under the guise of the media. The Duma may adopt it in the final reading on 26 February.
A bill on mandatory accreditation will prevent the “Voices” of such organizations and observers. The co-Chairman of movement “the Voice” Grigory Melkonyants, this bill is a deliberate attempt to drastically reduce the number of independent election observers.