Prison for coercion to vote
At the meeting of the expert group members of the Central electoral Commission and experts of the “Committee of civil initiatives” (CGI), Alexei Kudrin discussed the changes in the law to the gubernatorial and presidential elections, the correspondent . The head of expert group under CEC Andrey Buzin has proposed to introduce a compulsion to vote the analogue of article 141 of the criminal code (obstructing the exercise of electoral rights). The punishment for this offence is a fine of up to 500 thousand rubles or compulsory works for a term up to four years, or deprivation of liberty for a term up to four years. With the proposal of the Elder agreed, the member of expert group under CEC Arkady lyubarev.
Forced voting is of two types: participants make or just show up to the polls or to vote for a certain candidate or list of candidates, explained the co-movement in defense of voters ‘ rights “Golos” Gregory Melkonyants. “Thus, officials often despise these recommendations in its subordinate organizations, and employers forced their workers. Especially often suffer from budgetary organizations — kindergartens, schools and polyclinics”, he added. According to Melkonyants, employers are using carrots and sticks: or threaten penalties or promise rewards and bonuses.
The introduction of criminal penalties for coerced vote is unlikely to support at the legislative level, suggested in a conversation with political scientist Nikolay Mironov. “She [power] mobilizes the electorate. Though it [such a punishment] is safe, as law enforcement agencies in her hands,” he said.
Another proposal experts — to mitigate municipal filter, collecting the signatures of local deputies for the nomination in the gubernatorial election. For this municipal deputies should be allowed to vote for several candidates, and the number of signatures needed for nomination be reduced from 10 to 5% and from 5% to 2%, proposed by the participants.
The meeting of experts and members of the CEC and representatives of the OIG was dedicated to the senatorial amendments to electoral legislation. On March 3, Senator Andrew Klishas and Anatoly Shirokov proposed to abolish absentee ballots, “disaggregated” PECs and expand the admission of observers to the presidential elections in 2018. The vote itself, they are encouraged to appoint on March 18 — the date of accession of Crimea to Russia.
The mitigation and abolition of the municipal filter in the amendments were not mentioned. However, after making this topic in conversation with the Chairman of the CEC Ella Pamfilova was repeatedly raised by the opposition parties. “That [Alexander] Kinev of the CEC said that it is necessary to do something with the municipal filter. Now, however, it is impossible to raise the question about its cancellation, but it should at least mitigate: where now 10% of the votes of members required to make 5%, as in the Yaroslavl region”, — said lyubarev.
Mitigate municipal filter, will depend on whether the government puts before itself a problem to make the upcoming gubernatorial and presidential elections “legitimate” and “competitive”, said the President of Fund “the Petersburg policy” Michael Vinogradov. “But there is a problem not only in number, but also the need to collect signatures in most municipalities. Is this property entices”, — he said.
The theme of the abolition of the municipal filter was discussed several times by members of the CEC, noted lyubarev. In his opinion, the filter should be replaced by something, but it’s hard to do before the election this year because of the need to make major amendments to the legislation. “Next campaign will be more radical proposals”, — assured the expert.
The implementation of the “more radical” proposals will be engaged in a working group that will oversee the administration of the President. It will begin its work in may, said at a meeting of the CEC Pamfilova. The group should include representatives of the Federation Council and the state Duma, employees of the presidential administration and members of the CEC.
“This working group will start to operate slowly, and the result will be by 2019, or even later, said lyubarev. — There we will talk about a wide reform, the revision of many standards. As well as codification — code of the voter, which will combine all Russian electoral legislation. This idea has long been discussed by experts, and we even Ella Alexandrovna [Pamfilova] managed to convince that he needed.”
Against the checkout on election day
The experts proposed several amendments to the package of Senate bills. For example, in the Scenarios proposed by the detachment on the day of voting may benefit, says Buzin. A quick test didn’t vote whether someone who wants to let go, to this place of residence will be very difficult.
The senators had proposed to abolish the rule of “serfdom” to observers at polling stations in the presidential elections. The rule of “one site — one observer” in the current legislation is not conducive to “openness and transparency of the elections,” says Buzin. He therefore proposed to cancel the “serfdom” to observers and in the gubernatorial campaigns.
The analyst Mironov, in comments suggested that limits for observers can be partially mitigated to the gubernatorial elections. “The government has made sure that no political force can not put so many observers to close all plots and to reserve for the removal of [the observer]. So here you can show some liberal” — he said.
Another initiative of experts — to set up surveillance at the time of the election not only in district but also in the territorial election commissions. “It’s not that hard to make them not 96 thousand as PEC, and 35 times less [about 3 million],” added Buzin.
The experts also demanded to cancel the accreditation for media wishing to cover the gubernatorial election.
In General, according to Mironov, all the suggestions of the experts was done “for show”. “They ignore the really important things, on which is based the current system. Initially, the experts of the democratic camp had proposed far more radical reform. The proposed version is clearly a very strong compromise, which calls into question the very meaning of their work,” he said.
The author of the amendment lyubarev, who in the course of the round table in the OIG asked the question about why the experts have developed only “half-measures”, said that they focused on those amendments that could be adopted in the near future, to the gubernatorial elections.