MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Election campaign at elections of the President of Russia was officially launched on Monday – exactly three months before election day. Candidates have 90 days to complete the formal nomination process at conventions or to support meetings of groups of voters to hand over documents to the CEC to collect signatures, to carry out extensive propaganda work and fight with opponents in debates on TV and radio.
The Federation Council at plenary meeting on 15 December adopted a resolution on appointment of presidential elections of Russia on March 18, 2018. Thus, the elections will coincide with the four-year anniversary of the reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia.
The decision of the Federation Council was officially published in “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” on Monday night. By law, it is the official publication of the decision gives a start to the campaign from this point are counted by all the election action.
As explained TASS the CEC member Yevgeny Shevchenko, the independents have 20 days from the beginning of the campaign to hold a meeting of voters in his support and come to the CEC meeting minutes and other necessary documents. Parties for holding conventions and nominating candidates is given a little more time – 25 days, after that the CEC verifies all the documents, registers the authorized parties and authorized for financial Affairs of candidates, gives permission for opening of special election accounts – and candidates can start collecting signatures. Those who do not required (the representatives of the parliamentary parties), already from December 27 to have the opportunity to apply for registration. This period will end 31 January at 18:00 GMT.
As previously reported, on the presidential election from the Federal budget allocated 14.9 billion rubles. After the publication of the resolution on purpose of elections, the CEC will have access to this Finance, explained earlier in the Department. Today, the CEC will hold a meeting which will approve the calendar plan of the election campaign for the presidential election and will distribute allocated for elections budgetary funds.
The CEC reported on readiness for elections
The Chairman of the Central election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, speaking at the plenary session of the Federation Council on 15 December, stated that the electoral system of Russia, with approximately 880 thousand people, fully prepared for the elections. “We have been training to run a campaign so that none of us were ashamed that we were proud of this campaign,” she said.
According to Pamfilova, Russia has created “unprecedented conditions for carrying out completely transparent, open elections,” and such large-scale surveillance system of district and territorial electoral commissions, as in Russia, anywhere in the world.
The head of the CEC, who herself ran for President in 2000, is confident that now the electoral law, the maximum liberalized, and the candidate may be virtually any citizen over the age of 35, who “are not burdened with certain types of convictions” and does not have foreign citizenship.
Pamfilova expressed hope that the elections of the President, “in contrast to some pessimistic forecasts, will be competitive, interesting, positive surprises”.
As reported Pamfilova, 23 potential candidates have declared their intention to participate in the election campaign. “No matter how many candidates and everything will depend on how will be interested in their program, how they will attract the attention of voters, how meaningful they will be to respond to the demands that exist in society,” she said.
To declare presidential ambitions of some politicians began to advance. So, the party “Yabloko” in 2016 in preparation for the elections to the state Duma announced the intention to nominate for President one of the founders of the party Grigory Yavlinsky. LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky announced plans to participate in the elections at the party Congress a year ago, then the leadership of the party confirmed that decision the day before the start of the campaign.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has long kept me wondering and said that he will run for another term, shortly before the start of the campaign – December 6, during a meeting with veterans and workers of the Gorky automobile plant in Nizhny Novgorod. Later, during a press conference on 14 December, he noted that the government will go to elections as the independent candidate. In the “United Russia” has informed that will give him full support.
The leaders of the Communist party and “Fair Russia” is silent about participation in the presidential race. Communist Gennady Zyuganov said earlier that he, as the leader of the party, must always be ready to participate in the elections, but the decision of the Congress. In any case, according to Zyuganov, in the presidential elections the Communist party will go by a large team of “popular-Patriotic forces”.
The Chairman “Fair Russia” Sergei Mironov said recently to journalists that the party positively to the nomination of Vladimir Putin. He urged journalists to think that “Mironov prepares a surprise” in the elections. Member of the Presidium of the Central Council of the party, first Deputy head of fraction spravorossov in the state Duma Mikhail Emelyanov said that the party will either nominate its own candidate or support Putin, a source in the party said that a just Russia is likely to refuse the nomination in favor of the incumbent.
In addition, presidential elections intend to participate representative of the President on protection of entrepreneurs ‘ rights, Chairman of the Party of growth Boris Titov, the political scientist, the head of the Center for social technologies Andrey Bogdanov, TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak (from the party “Civil initiative”), the Chairman of the party “Female dialogue” Elena Semerikova, businessman Sergei Polonsky, singer and human rights activist Catherine Gordon, and some unknown to the broad public figures.
Blogger Alexei Navalny has repeatedly stated its intention to participate in presidential elections and has recently published its programme, however, the CEC clarified that he was deprived of the passive right to vote until 2028, due to existing convictions on the matter of “Kirovles”.
Election with plebiscite character
Experts believe that in the conditions of participation in the elections of Vladimir Putin campaign will be of a plebiscite character.
“The main nerve of this campaign, as it was clear that she would wear a plebiscitary character, referendum, is the nomination of Putin and the program with which he these elections will go,” – says the Chairman of the Board of the development Fund civil society Konstantin Kostin.
“The campaign will take place not as a competition between people, as providing confidence to a person who is already working on a post for a long time and has serious impact on society, is a referendum scenario [campaign] referendum,” a joint analyst Andrei Kolyadin.
He explained that under this scenario, the campaign involves standard steps, such as submission of a candidate to the electorate, intense campaign period. In this case, the expert noted, “it is not necessary to acquaint the candidate and the voters, his [the candidate’s] well known not only in Russia but also abroad, does not need to raise his ratings – they are a priori high.”
The majority of parties have already decided the dates of the congresses. The liberal democratic party the first parliamentary parties will officially nominate the candidate – 20 Dec. United Russia will hold a Congress on December 22 and 23, which will Express support to Putin, the Communist party is December 23 and the day before behind closed doors will be a Plenum of the Central Committee of the party, which is expected to be announced the decision about the candidate. Spravorossy will hold a Congress on December 25.
Moreover, the Congress plan to hold a “green Alliance” will nominate the top Manager of the company “Mortadel” Elvira Agurbash, and Democratic party of Russia Andrei Bogdanov. On December 20-21, the Party of growth will nominate for election Titova, December 21-22, Yabloko Congress must approve the candidacy of Yavlinsky.
“Civil initiative” pre-plans to nominate Sobchak at the Congress on December 23, December 24 the Congress of the “Communist Russia”.
Secretary of the CEC, Maya Grishina told TASS that the members of the CEC and members of the staff of the Commission will endeavor to attend all conventions and meetings of groups of voters in support of independents, which will be notified in accordance with the requirement of the law.
What ratings are the candidates to start the campaign
According to the results of the poll conducted in late November – early December, the absolute leader in the rating of trust in Russian politicians remains Vladimir Putin. He is trusted by 53% of Russians, and to 82.4% approve of his activities.
Zhirinovsky is trusted by 11,2%, Zyuganov – 6,3%, Mironov – 2,3%. Trust rating Sobchak is 0.2%.
Zhirinovsky thus consistently led the anti-rating, and in November, the level of distrust of the Russians to it has increased significantly from 28.1% to 31.9%. Don’t trust Zyuganov with 14.8%, Sobchak and 8.4%, Mironov – 4%.
Trust rating blogger Alexei Navalny is 1.2%, while don’t trust him and 3.6% of respondents.
Legitimacy depends on turnout
The cornerstone stories of the campaign analyst Andrey Kolyadin believes its legitimacy, including by ensuring turnout and fairness of elections.
The expert explained that in the hypothetical situation when the electoral participation of 10% of the electorate, of whom 90% vote for one candidate, the opponents of that candidate “gets the right to say that he represents the interests not only of society, but only that part which came to the polling stations.” “It’s clear that it’s not about 10%, it’s about the fact that most of the companies took part in the election campaign”, – stated the analyst.
Therefore, he says, “the turnout will be election headquarters, and the Central election Commission”.
As for CEC, it drew attention Kolyadin, voter turnout is the task of the Commission. “CEC maps this appearance not to specific candidates, he has the obligation to ensure the maximum constitutional right for every citizen to vote”, – said the Agency interlocutor.
Among the mechanisms of legal increase turnout interviewee mentioned the availability of the voting procedure, to “man can easily find your polling place, know where he is, to have the time to visit it, and if unable to attend, in order [to ensure the vote] came to him.”
Another essential element is to work with the voter lists, purging of “dead souls”, in which the number of voters will be reduced to objective, but in actual terms the number of voters will be greater than in the case of the lists of people who for objective reasons are not entitled to participate in the elections.
Cancel “serf suffrage”
The most important factor in improving accessibility for all voters of electoral procedures is the abolition of the so-called election of serfdom, when a man had a right to vote only at the place of registration or was forced to take an absentee ballot. Meanwhile, the use of absentee ballots for many years was perceived as a potential opportunity for manipulation of the elections and has become the traditional object of criticism.
In the upcoming presidential elections this problem will be solved: citizens can vote not only at the place of registration, but where will be on election day, no absentee ballots, which will only need to apply in advance and attached to a convenient site. This system was tested at the local elections of 2017 and proved to be positive.
Not earlier than 45 days and not later than 5 days before the election an application for inclusion in the voter list at the place of residence will be submitted to the territorial election commissions, multifunction centres and through the portal of public services. Precinct election commissions (PECs) will begin to accept applications for 20 days before voting day.
Voters who in the last four days before the election, decide to not vote at the place of registration (for example, because going for a business), may apply to your PECs at his residence, the statement will attach a special stamp, one of which will peel off and attach opposite the name of voter in the area where he would go to vote. By decision of the CEC, these special stamps will be printed 3 million units.
The party will work for turnout
The task of ensuring the appearance, especially the so-called nuclear electorate voting for a particular candidate regardless of the circumstances, will stand in front of the parties, nominating or supporting any candidate.
“There is, for example, party systems, “1-5” or “1-10″ when each party member brings 5 or 10 people with me [to the vote], it’s completely legitimate form. Or when in the territories among certain groups to hold meetings of voters with the Trustees, the candidates, the main thing is to provide equal rights for all. Plus all sorts of rounds every apartment, pickets, billboards, commercials on TV. There is a wide range of mobilizing activities that increase turnout,” he listed koliadyn.
The intention to use a party resource mobilization already stated the “United Russia”, previously announced intention to actively participate in the campaign of Putin. “We are two million. The party organization has always worked, it will work for the March campaign,” informed the acting Secretary General Council of United Russia Andrei Turchak. However, he assured that “United Russia” expects to use in the campaign, your party’s network, and “no settings” to ensure turnout is not.
The goal is absolute transparency
A fundamental task is the most honest elections, is a guarantee of trust to them and their result, as stated previously, the head of the CEC of the Russian Federation Ella Pamfilova.
“Elections should be held transparently, honestly, with the highest level of confidence in their results,” she said . In her opinion, how the election of the head of state how they will be legitimate, will determine how will “strengthen the country”.
About the same guidelines speak to the party President “United Russia”. “Our task is to do everything to anybody, including in the West, did not appear the slightest reason to even one iota to cast doubt on the honesty of the result [of the election],” said Deputy Secretary of the General Council of United Russia, state Duma Deputy Yevgeny Revenko.
“It is important to avoid fraud to the ears are not attracted by the appearance of a violation of the laws, to avoid ballot box stuffing, carousel to superiors do not yell at their subordinates that they are under penalty of dismissal voted that none of the observers and our friends from abroad there were no doubts that the elections were fair” – says Andrey Kolyadin.
To promote transparency of the elections are called innovations, first appearing on the Federal campaign, for example surveillance cameras of the territorial election commissions, where protocols of voting are entered into the state automated system “Elections”. Due to recent changes in legislation have significantly expanded opportunities for public surveillance: now you can watch the progress of the elections and counting of votes will not only the representatives of parties and candidates, but observers from the Public chamber of the Russian Federation and regional public chambers.
Also the election will apply to complexes of processing of ballots new generation (Cohiba-2017). In total, the major polling stations to be used in the order of 13 thousand old and new “electronic ballot boxes”.