2019 Rally for right to vote in Moscow. Image by Wikimedia Commons

Consequences of the ‘law against the Anti-Corruption Foundation’: opposition candidates are denied participation in elections

Source: OVD-Info. The original article may be found here (in Russian).

The Moscow City Court has designated1 the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Alexey Navalny's Headquarters, and the Citizens' Rights Protection Foundation as 'extremist' organizations. Inter alia, it implies2 the prohibition to participate in elections.

The authorities have proceeded to ban pro-opposition candidates from running to the State Duma and other legislative bodies on a pretext of involvement in Navalny's projects.

'We, the public figures, elected deputies, and citizens whose rights are at risk of violation, consider the draft law on limiting the passive electoral rights of individuals involved in extremist or terrorist organizations to be a threat to the rule of law and the future of democracy in Russia.

Applied to elections at all levels, the bill is in flagrant violation of a number of fundamental rights and legal principles. In fact, it deprives people of pro-opposition views of a right to take part in elections: neither can they run as candidates, nor can they vote for their representatives whose names are kept off the ballots,' – states an open letter to the president of Russia, published3 by OVD-Info shortly prior to the court's ruling.

Yet, the law was passed, paving the way for the court to label Navalny's supporters as extremists. As his projects were banned, it had the following implications for the election campaign 2021.

Alexander Chernikov

Former coordinator of Navalny's Kaliningrad headquarters

On August 25, the former coordinator of Navalny's Kaliningrad headquarters, Alexander Chernikov, was removed from the city council elections. He informed4 about this on Facebook.

The activist was accused of involvement in extremist organizations. 'They took me off according to a court decision on a claim from the CPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation – REM). The CPRF followed an order. Whether this order came from United Russia or some state bodies, I do not know,' – wrote the politician on the social network.

Chernikov told Sever.Realii that at the court hearing the judge said that the connection between the activist and Navalny's headquarters was confirmed 'by documents from law enforcement agencies not of an oblast level, but higher, which the court did not request, since it could not have known about their existence.'

Viktor Rau

(Yabloko State Duma candidate in Barnaul – REM)

On 17 August, Altaiskiy Krai Court cancelled the registration of Viktor Rau, Yabloko candidate to the State Duma in Barnaul District, Tayga Info reported5

The court's decision was based on the lawsuit filed by Rau's competitor, Just Russia candidate to the State Duma and the member of the regional legislature Alexander Molotov. The official accused the activist of links to Alexey Navalny's supporters because of his involvement in pro-Navalny protests.

'The election commission of Altaiskiy Krai admitted: "Yes, that's true we have missed something, we had no information",' – said Rau, as quoted by the outlet. In his interview to Tayga Info, the Chairperson of Yabloko in Altai Alexander Goncharenko noted that his party's nomination of Rau to the State Duma partially sought to defend him from political persecution. The activist had been charged6 with repeated violations during public events according to Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code, nicknamed 'Dadin's Article'7.

Yelena Izotova

SOTA journalist and Yabloko State Duma candidate in Kazan

Yelena Izotova, SOTA journalist and Yabloko candidate to the State Duma from Kazan, was disqualified from the elections on 10 August, as the outlet's Telegram channel reported8.

Izotova's alleged involvement in 'extremist organizations', Navalny's headquarters, was used as a reason for registration denial. The lawsuit against Izotova was filed by the prosecutor's office, and the hearing in Vakhitovsky Rayon Court was scheduled for 13 August.

As the evidence of the journalist's involvement in Navalny's headquarters, the prosecutors quoted her social media publications from 2019 on joint election observation efforts, her 23 January post demanding to release Navalny's, and 10 February calls for joining sanctioned protest against January detentions. Izotova's alleged involvement in 'extremist organizations' is also substantialized by her presence during the release of Oleg Yemelyanov, the ex-head of Navalny's headquarter in Kazan, from the detention facility, and her signature under the petition for the release of 'Palace case'9 prisoners.

Maxim Zabelin

The member of Tomsk City Duma

On 8 August, Maxim Zabelin, the acting member of Tomsk City Duma, was denied registration for the elections of Tomsk Oblast Duma, as the politician reported10 on his Telegram channel.

Zabelin was disqualified from standing for elections for five years allegedly for his involvement in 'extremist organizations', since he was fined 17 thousand roubles (approx. 150 EUR – REM) in March for his participation in pro-Navalny protest on 31 January.

Timur Khanov

The former member of Novosibirsk City Council

Berdsk election commission denied registration to Timur Khanov, an independent candidate to the town council, on 6 August, reported11 Tayga Info.

Khanov's assumed connection to the Anti-Corruption Foundation came as a pretext for the registration denial. He was arrested in February for seven days because of his video from pro-Navalny protest on 31 January.

Ruslan Nurtdinov

A candidate to the Rayon Council of Chekmagush

Chekmagush Inter-Rayon Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan disqualified an independent candidate Ruslan Nurtdinov from standing for the elections of the rayon council on 5 August, as the activist posted12 on his personal Facebook page.

The activist's rival Aidar Nasyrov filed a complaint with the local election commission which had registered Nurtdinov for the election on 22 July. In his lawsuit, Nasyrov quoted Nurtdinov's open support to Navalny's organizations and his participation in 2021 protests. The court sustained the claim.

Daniil Markelov

Candidate to Berdsk Town Council

Berdsk election commission disqualified Daniil Markelov, an independent candidate to the local council of deputies, from the elections for the local council on 4 August, as reported13 by the Telegram channel of the Novosibirsk 2020 Coalition.

The activist's previous administrative prosecution for his participation in pro-Navalny protest was used as a reason for denied registration.

On 13 August, Berdsk Town Court upheld the election commission's decision on denial of access to the election for Markelov, as he shared on his Twitter.

Mikhail Ryazantsev

Candidate to Berdsk Town Council

The election commission denied an independent candidate Mikhail Ryazantsev registration for the elections of Berdsk Council of Deputies, reported14 Tayga Info.

'He was involved in protests initiated by the Navalny's Headquarters and provided information support to the Anti-Corruption Foundation on the Internet,' – claimed the Ministry of Justice in its letter sent to the local election commission, laying the grounds for the disqualification.

On 13 August, Berdsk Town Court rejected15 Ryazantsev's lawsuit requesting reinstatement.

'Rather than about violations during the registration procedure, the whole process was about whether I was linked to the "extremists." Three times, I brought it to their attention that the lawsuit and proceedings were about another subject,' – clarified Ryazantsev.

On 24 August, the Novosibirsk Oblast Court examined the complaint from the Berdsk Town Council candidate Mikhail Ryazantsev against the election commission and denied16 reinstatement.

Yekaterina Aleksandrova

Candidate to Berdsk Town Council

On 5 August, Berdsk election commission denied an independent candidate Yekaterina Aleksandrova registration for the elections of Berdsk Council of Deputies, reports17 SOTA.

The candidate was disqualified after the letter from the Ministry of Justice. Aleksandrova was accused of affiliation with the Anti-Corruption Foundation and involvement in protests in January and February 2021.

On 16 August, Berdsk Town Court rejected Yekaterina Aleksandrova's reinstatement lawsuit. Tayga Info brought18 the case card19 to the attention.

The outlet noted that the police officers presented Aleksandrova's Instagram screenshot as a proof of her involvement in the Foundation. Signed on 2 August, the document includes screenshots of photos published by Aleksandrova on 10 and 13 August, after the registration denial.

Security bodies referred to Aleksandrova's participation in the Novosibirsk City Council campaign of deputy Sergey Boyko in 2020 as another confirmation of her involvement in an 'extremist organization'. For evidentiary purposes, a representative of the Ministry of Interior brought copies of signature sheets with voter data to the trial. Aleksandrova claimed that the documents were forged.

Timofey Kazantsev

Candidate to Berdsk Town Council

On 5 August, Berdsk election commission disqualified an independent candidate Timofey Kazantsev from the elections of the local council, reports20 SOTA.

The candidate was denied registration because of his affiliation with the Anti-Corruption Foundation and participation in winter pro-Navalny protests, according to the Ministry of Justice's letter to the local election commission.

On 13 August, Berdsk Town Court denied reinstatement to Timofey Kazantsev, reported21 Novosibirsk 2020 Coalition.

Navalny's video endorsing the Novosibirsk 2020 Coalition, whose member was Kazantsev, at the 2020 election was used as the pretext for the denial. Notably, Kazantsev did not run at that election.

Irina Selishcheva

Candidate to Berdsk Town Council

On 5 August, the election commission in Berdsk denied registration to an independent candidate Irina Selishcheva for the town council elections, reported22 SOTA.

The Ministry of Justice found Selishcheva to be linked to Navalny's organization; her involvement in the 2021 winter protests was also quoted as a pretext for rejecting her application.

Violetta Grudina

Candidate to Murmansk City Council

On 4 August, Murmansk Territorial Election Commission (TEC) disqualified Violetta Grudina, an ex-coordinator of the local Navalny's headquarter, from the city council elections, the activist shared23 on her Telegram channel.

Grudina's links to the 'extremist organization' – the Anti-Corruption Foundation – came as the pretext for disqualification. 'They received a piece of paper from the [Ministry of Justice] about the extremism, waited until the end of appeal procedure of Navalny's headquarters, and started their session,' – shared the activist in her post.

On 2 August, Grudina was preventively punished24 by a court with a recognizance not to leave in a case on breeching disease control and prevention procedures, her home was searched.

Olga Surnacheva

Member of the Novosibirsk 2020 Coalition

On 4 August, the election commission in Berdsk yet again denied registration for the town council elections to a member of the Novosibirsk 2020 Coalition, this time Olga Surnacheva. Once again, a letter from the Ministry of Justice on Surnacheva's alleged involvement in extremist organizations served as a basis, reported25 the coalition's Telegram channel.

Among other things, the letter argued that Surnacheva ostensibly 'provided information support to the unauthorized protests.'

On 14 August, the Berdsk Town Court denied26 Surnacheva the election registration. The police sent documents to the court to prove the activist's affiliation with Navalny's projects, one of the proofs being the fact of YouTube broadcasting of the protest in Novosibirsk on 23 January.

'The court gives no damn! No damn that pages are missing in the Ministry of Interior's letter, or that the CD submitted to the Ministry of Justice on 3 August magically includes files created on 13 August! Incredible! Only we were exasperated, though. They went on to ascribe Navalny's film about Siberia to me, as if he were campaigning for me! We also found out that any election is about Navalny's plan to grab power,' – shared Surnacheva on Instagram.

Nikolay Kuzmin

Deputy of rural settlement Zavelichenskaya Volost

On 3 August, Pskov election commission disqualified Nikolay Kuzmin from standing for the elections to the local legislature, reported27 the Telegram channel of the Pskov City Duma member Dmitry Permyakov.

The decision was made due to the politician's participation in a protest to demand freedom to Navalny's on 23 January. Following the arrest of Kuzmin during the protest by security officers, the court fined28 him with 15 thousand roubles (approx. 170 EUR – REM) having found him guilty of breeching rules of participation in public gatherings (Art. 20.2 Part 5 of the Code of Administrative Offences).

On 4 August, deputies Lev Shlosberg and Nikolay Kuzmin were reinstated on the lists of candidates to Pskov Oblast Assembly of Deputies, reported29 Pskovskaya Lenta Novostey with a reference to the regional election commission.

The election commission explained its decision by the fact that the ruling of Moscow City Court on liquidation and prohibition of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Citizens' Rights Protection Foundation, and Navalny's Headquarters quoted by the Ministry of Justice had not yet taken legal effect.

Lev Shlosberg

Member of Pskov Oblast Assembly of Deputies

On 3 August, Pskov election commission disqualified Lev Shlosberg from the election to the regional legislature, reported30 Dmitry Permyakov, a member of Pskov City Duma, on his Telegram channel.

Detained31 during the pro-Navalny protest on 23 January, the politician was later fined32 by a court for 20 thousand roubles (approx. 230 EUR – REM) for breeching rules of hosting a public gathering (Art. 20.2 Part 2 of the Code of Administrative Offences). The activist's participation in a rally also came as a pretext for a registration denial.

On 4 August, deputies Lev Shlosberg and Nikolay Kuzmin were reinstated on the lists of candidates to Pskov Oblast Assembly of Deputies, reported33 Pskovskaya Lenta Novostey with a reference to the regional election commission.

The election commission explained its decision by the fact that the ruling of Moscow City Court on liquidation and prohibition of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Citizens' Rights Protection Foundation, and Navalny's Headquarters quoted by the Ministry of Justice had not yet taken legal effect.

On 9 August, Shlosberg shared34 on his Telegram channel that Moscow City Court cancelled the politician's registration at the State Duma election. It did so upon a request from Andrey Pangayev, a State Duma candidate of 'Greens' in a single-mandate district No. 207.

'The court did not allow a Yabloko representative to participate in the proceedings as an interested party. (...) We will obtain the court ruling at 4 pm on 4 August and appeal against it to the First Court of Appeals of general jurisdiction. I believe this judgment to be illegitimate and ungrounded, in essence unlawful,' – wrote Shlosberg.

On 23 August, the First Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of Moscow City Court to deny Shlosberg registration for the State Duma election, shared35 the politician on his Telegram channel.

Furthermore, the court rejected a request to involve the Central Election Commission (CEC) and the Yabloko party in the proceedings.

Ilya Pukhovsky

Candidate to Berdsk Town Council

On 2 August, the election commission in Berdsk denied registration for the town council elections to Ilya Pukhovsky, based on the letter from the Ministry of Justice, reported36 the Telegram channel of the Novosibirsk 2020 Coalition.

In its letter, the ministry told that Pukhovsky had been involved in the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Citizens' Rights Protection Foundation, and Navalny's Headquarters, designated as extremist, by participating in their protests.

On 13 August, Berdsk Town Court rejected Pukhovsky's lawsuit to reinstate him as a candidate to the city council, reported37 the channel of the Novosibirsk 2020 Coalition.

On 24 August, Novosibirsk Oblast Court examined the lawsuit of the candidate to the Town Council of Berdsk Ilya Pukhovsky and refused38 reinstating him.

Sergey Kosov

Assistant to a member of the Novosibirsk City Council Anton Kartavin

On 2 August, the election commission in Berdsk denied registration for the town council elections to Sergey Kosov, an assistant to the city council member, based on a letter from the Ministry of Justice. He told39 about it on his Twitter.

According to the ministry's letter, a warning issued to Kosov on 22 January about unacceptability of extremist activities 'as a co-organizer of an unauthorized event' to support Alexey Navalny indicates his involvement in Navalny's 'extremist' Headquarters.

On 12 August, Berdsk Town Court rejected a lawsuit on access to the election from a town council candidate Sergey Kosov, reports40 Tayga Info.

During the proceedings, the court considered the letter of recommendation from the Centre for Countering Extremism. According to the document, Kosov 'is registered as an individual entrepreneur.' According to Kontur.Fokus database, Kosov has no legal entity, reports the outlet. He also denied41 this: 'I am not an individual entrepreneur.'

The letter also indicated that Kosov was a volunteer in the campaign headquarter of Sergey Boyko, a candidate to the mayor of Novosibirsk in 2019, and ran for the city council of Novosibirsk with the Novosibirsk 2020 Coalition a year later.

On 19 August, Novosibirsk Oblast Court rejected Kosov's complaint to the district election commission and upheld the decision of the court of the first instance, reported42 Tayga Info.

In his appeal, Kosov outlined mistakes in the document of the Ministry of Justice. According to the Main Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior in Novosibirsk Oblast, the claimant is an individual entrepreneur, which is in conflict with reality.

Olga Nechayeva

Lawyer cooperating with OVD-Info

The election commission in Berdsk denied election registration to Olga Nechayeva, a lawyer who cooperates with OVD-Info, shared Sergey Boyko43 and a candidate to the Council of Berdsk Yekaterina Aleksandrova44 on Twitter.

As one of the arguments for Nechayeva's involvement in Navalny's 'extremist organizations', the Ministry of Justice considered a fact that she rendered 'consultative and legal support to individuals detained for arranging and participating in' unapproved pro-Navalny protests in January this year.

On 12 January, Berdsk Town Court did not sustain a claim from Nechayeva against the local election commission. She had appealed against registration denial at the town council election, reported45 Tayga Info.

On 19 August, Novosibirsk Oblast Court rejected Nechayeva's complaint against the district election commission and upheld the decision of the court of the first instance, reported46 Tayga Info.

Vyacheslav Yakimenko

Candidate to Berdsk Town Council

On 2 August, the election commission in Berdsk denied registration for the town council election to a candidate Vyacheslav Yakimenko. The decision is based on a letter from the Ministry of Justice about his involvement in 'extremist organizations,' the politician reported47 on his Twitter.

Published by Yakimenko, the letter from the ministry claims that information is available about his affiliation with Anti-Corruption Foundation, Alexey Navalny's Headquarters, and the Citizens' Rights Protection Foundation, designated as extremist. The Ministry of Justice also said that Yakimenko was arrested in February for his post about the 23 January pro-Navalny protest.

On 12 August, Berdsk Town Court rejected Yakimenko's claim against the local election commission's decision on denied registration at the town council elections, reported48 Tayga Info.

On 24 August, Novosibirsk Oblast Court considered Yakimenko's lawsuit against the election commission and denied49 reinstatement.

Natalya Rezontova

A journalist from Nizhny Novgorod, accused in the 'Sanitary case'

On 30 July, Nizhny Novgorod election commission for the State Duma election in District No. 129 denied50 registration to Natalya Rezontova, a local journalist accused of breeching sanitary and epidemiological rules (Art. 236 Part 1 of the Criminal Code) for participating in the 23 January protest. The decision was grounded on the note from the Ministry of Justice allegedly proving Rezontova's involvement in extremist organizations, making her ineligible for running.

On 6 August, the Court rejected51 Rezontova's complaint against the denied registration.
On 20 August, the CEC excluded Rezontova from the Yabloko's federal list because of the court's judgment on the journalist's affiliation with an 'extremist organization,' reported 52 the Telegram channel of Zakon information agency.

Ragnar Reyn

Former volunteer of Navalny's headquarters in Kaliningrad

On 29 June, a candidate to the City Council of Kaliningrad Ragnar Reyn was summoned to the territorial election commission. A former employee of Navalny's headquarter Ivan Luzin, who had been previously banned from running for the State Duma, was also summoned there on the same day (his story below).

Both were told by the election commission that the data from the Ministry of Justice had been received, indicating that they could not run. Having mentioned no reasons, the members of the election commission said that the document outlining the decision would be available the next day.

'We expected them to disqualify us, just like Ivan Luzin had been disqualified from the State Duma election days before,' – shared Reyn with OVD-Info – 'Yet, he was at least given some explanations. Nothing like this in our case. They just referred to restrictions mentioned in the document from the Ministry of Justice. In the end, the commission voted unanimously.'

Reyn and Luzin are going to appeal the decisions and continue their election campaigns.

On 9 August, a court in Kaliningrad rejected53 an appeal against the disqualification of Reyn.

Kirill Levchenko

Assistant to the member of Novosibirsk City Council Sergey Boyko

On 29 July, the election commission in Berdsk, Novosibirsk Oblast, denied registration at the town council election to an activist Kirill Levchenko, he reported54 on Twitter.

The commission based its decision on a letter from the Ministry of Justice indicating Levchenko's involvement in an 'extremist organization', Navalny's Headquarters. Notably, the oppositionist assures he has never been in charge of a local Navalny's headquarter. At an earlier point of the campaign, he had collected signatures to support his nomination, which were found valid.

'The dear Presidential Administration found out where Berdsk was, and they had to break their own anti-constitutional 'segregational' election law. Even this law says it's only up to the court to establish the involvement. Macho Putin and his party of crooks are afraid of an independent municipal council member in Berdsk, population of 100 thousand. The election commission in Berdsk wants to hide behind a piece of paper from the [Ministry of Justice]. However, the violation of the Constitution is the commission's fault. They have signed this decision. I'm suing them,' – commented Levchenko for OVD-Info.

On 19 August, Novosibirsk Oblast Court rejected Levchenko's claim against the district election commission and upheld the decision of the court of the first instance, reported55 Tayga Info.

'I had another argument on my side. In the first instance court, I learnt from the Ministry of Interior's letter to the Ministry of Justice that I had been receiving a salary from the Anti-Corruption Foundation, with amounts and dates. Yet, they have never paid me. I had documents from my bank proving that I was paid by another organization founded in Novosibirsk Oblast back then. A representative of [the defendant] in the election commission just accepted the ruling of the first instance court,' – told Levchenko.

Ivan Luzin

Former employee of Navalny's headquarters in Kaliningrad

Ivan Luzin succeeded in submitting campaign documents and registering an election account by the end of June. However, an election commission employee summoned him on 26 July to the commission meeting to resolve documentation issues. It came out during the meeting, that the activist is banned56 from standing for the State Duma elections because of a letter from the Ministry of Justice.

The letter claimed Luzin was affiliated with the regional Navalny's headquarter, since he had been arrested for 21 days after a pro-Navalny protest based on the protest organization records.

The activists was also collecting signatures for the election of Kaliningrad City Council. On 29 July, he was also prohibited from running to the respective council.

On 4 August, Kaliningrad Oblast Court upheld the decision of the election commission to disqualify Luzin from the State Duma election. The activist shared details about his disqualification with OVD Info, which became known during the trial.

'We found out how I was being deprived of my right to be elected, – said Luzin. – It is quite sad, unfortunately. It appears that the factual decision was made by a police colonel who substituted the court. The Ministry of Justice sent a request to the police, analyzed their letter and passed over to the election commission, which made the very decision to disqualify me.'

Luzin and his defender insisted in trial that it takes a court to take their electoral rights away. He added that the designation of Navalny's headquarters as extremist was not legally in force yet, making it impossible for the Ministry and the court to use this argument to deny access to elections before the decision was final.

On 9 August, the court in Kaliningrad refused57 to find Luzin's disqualification illegitimate.

Irina Fatyanova

Ex-coordinator of Navalny's headquarters in Saint Petersburg

Irina Fatyanova was the only former employee of Navalny's organizations to be allowed to register her election account (as a self-nominated candidate) and launch her election campaign at the upcoming election. However, the Territorial Election Commission No. 18 passed58 a decision on disqualification of Fatyanova due to findings of the inspection by the Ministry of Justice.

According to Ilya Lyubimov, the headquarter manager of Fatyanova, this refers to Fatyanova's links to the Anti-Corruption Foundation:

'Some organization conducted an inspection and found out that Irina Fatyanova had been in charge of a network of organizations designated as extremist. The [election commission] meeting wants to send a notification to Sberbank about closing the election account and abolishing the registration.'

Saint Petersburg election commission rejected59 Fatyanova's complaint on the denial of access to elections.

Artem Vazhenkov

Former member of the Open Russia

On 23 July, an election commission refused to authorize Artem Vazhenkov's application of nomination to Tver Oblast Legislature, he shared60 on Vkontakte.

Vazhenkov's headquarter launched his election campaign on 19 July. Since then, they had developed a project to improve roads in Tver, and started collecting signatures for renovation of Komsomolskaya grove and parks. 'We were certainly on track towards victory,' – believes Vazhenkov.

Tatyana Usmanova, an ex-coordinator of Open Russia, publicised61 the decision of the election commission. Verbally, Vazhenkov had been told he was not allowed to run due to his 'links to Navalny's Headquarters.' 'This is an absolute lie: Artem had been a Golos coordinator in Tver, yet he had never worked in [Navalny's] headquarter. They don't care, though, since they can use it as a pretext for disqualification. This is a silver bullet authorities shoot into any competitor,' – reflects the activist.

The election commission has never explained62 Vazhenkov what was it in the note from the Ministry of Justice that was the reason for his disqualification.

On 16 August, Tver Oblast Court rejected Vazhenkov's claim against finding him ineligible. The meeting took place on 10 August, reported63 Sova information centre.

The court upheld that Vazhenkov's administrative prosecution record for his participation in pro-Navalny protests confirms his involvement in an 'extremist organization'.

Dmitry Tsibirev

Ex-coordinator of Navalny's headquarters in Saratov

The election commission refused permission to an ex-coordinator of Navalny's headquarter in Saratov to open an election account for Saratov City Duma elections. The commission referred to the politician's involvement in an extremist organization. The court upheld this decision, reported64 SarBK.

On 12 July, during the session of Kirovsky Rayon Court, Tsibirev claimed that the election commission had no legal power to refuse the permission, that the commission's decision included no reasons for the refusal, and that there had been no enacted court decisions on Tsibirev's involvement in extremist or terrorist organizations. Yet, the court upheld the commission's decision. The appeal court rejected the politician's complaint.

Sergey Ukhov

Ex-coordinator of Navalny's headquarters in Perm

The Territorial Election Commission (TEC) of Dzerzhinskiy Rayon in Perm refused a permission to Sergey Ukhov to stand for the City Duma elections, he reported65 on Twitter.

He was allowed to open an election account in the beginning; however, TEC received a reply to its request from the Ministry of Justice, indicating his affiliation with prohibited and dissolved Navalny's Headquarters.

On 12 July, the Territorial Election Commission of Perm did not allow Ukhov to see the documents from the Ministry, reported66 Idel.Realii. Yekaterina Patsukova, the chairperson of TEC, argued that he could not do it, since he was not a commission member.

On 15 July, Dzerzhinski Rayon Court in Perm upheld the decision on Ukhov's disqualification, reported67 Idel.Realii.

Ilya Yashin

The head of Krasnoselsky Rayon Municipality of Moscow

On 25 June, the election commission banned Yashin from participating in the by-elections to Moscow City Duma, he shared68 on Facebook.

The commission found the politician to be involved in the Anti-Corruption Foundation. Notably, Ilya Yashin is not mentioned in the decision of Moscow City Court on extremist organizations, and the decision itself has not been enacted.

Anastasiya Burakova, a coordinator of 'Otkrytka Human Rights Defence', noted that the election commission had no powers to refuse permission to open an election account.

'The election law is very detailed and specific on the nomination procedure. They cannot refuse to accept the documents. They cannot forbid opening an account. They can surely refuse registration after the submission, referring to the anti-constitutional law which makes Navalny's supporters ineligible for running for any state authority bodies (when the court decision on 'extremism' is enacted). However, it is problematic to apply this decision to Yashin, since his name is not on the published court judgment. The commission has no powers to designate candidates as 'involved in prohibited organisations' at will; it is up to court only to establish the 'involvement,' argued69 Burakova on a Telegram channel.

On 7 July, Moscow City Court upheld the by-election access denial to Yashin, he shared70,71 on Facebook.

Oleg Stepanov

Former coordinator of Navalny's headquarters in Moscow, is under house arrest for the 'Sanitary case'

The election commission of the Danilovskiy rayon of Moscow, on June 22, did not allow Stepanov to open an election account and appoint a financial designee, the politician said72 on the Telegram channel.

The Territorial Election Commission members referred to the law prohibiting the participation in elections of people involved in the organization, the decision to liquidate which has already entered into force. However, the ruling of the Moscow City Court, which recognized Navalny's Headquarters as an extremist organization – and, therefore, subject to liquidation – would enter into force no earlier than July 9. The gave the opposition a month to file an appeal, and then a higher court must consider this appeal.

'The decision of the election commission is absolutely illegal. It was made with one simple goal – to reduce my time for collecting signatures. Collecting 15,000 signatures in 40 days is very difficult. Nobody has succeeded in this yet; moreover, from under the house arrest and under constant repressions. And now we will actually have to waste at least two weeks in the courts,' Oleg Stepanov said in the Telegram channel.

As Otkrytye Media reported73,on July 6, the election commission, in its response to Stepanov's complaint, referred to the clarification of the Constitutional Court; according to which the execution of a court decision before its entry into force is allowed if the delay in execution could lead to a significant damage. The damage, in the opinion of the election commission, would be that if Stepanov opens an election account, he would mislead the voters about his status and the possibility of being elected.

Also, the commission notes, opening an account by Stepanov would violate the principle of equality of candidates, and transferring money to a person recognized as involved in extremism would entail negative consequences for citizens. The commission claims that the issuance or non-issuance of permission to open an account falls within the competence of the election commission, which means that its decision is legal.

On July 7, the Moscow City Court rejected Oleg Stepanov's claim against the election commission, the politician writes74 in a Telegram channel.

Stepanov intends to appeal the decision with the European Court of Human Rights.

People's Freedom Party (PARNAS)

The Ministry of Justice has suspended75 the state registration of PARNAS until September 2021. The formal reason was 'technical flaws' in the documentation. As Otkrytye Media found out76, the claims of the Ministry of Justice are apparently caused by the cooperation of the party with Open Russia and the Anti-Corruption Foundation.

Lubov Sobol

Former lawyer of the Anti-Corruption Foundation

She was forced to refuse77 to participate in the elections, although she had previously planned to run for the State Duma.

'Under the current conditions, when criminal cases are initiated for collecting donations to fight corruption or simply for participating in peaceful protests, that is, in fact for disagreeing with the illegal actions of the Kremlin, I cannot ensure the safety of my volunteers, employees, and donors of the campaigns,' Sobol said78 on Facebook on 14 June.

References:

1 https://ovdinfo.org/

2 https://ovdinfo.org/

3 https://ovdinfo.org/

4 https://www.facebook.com/

5 https://tayga.info/170658

6 https://ovdinfo.org/

7 Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation that foresees criminal responsibility for the 'repeated violation of the established procedure for organizing or holding a gathering, a rally, a demonstration, a procession, or a picket.' The article is named after the first person convicted of it, Ildar Dadin - REM

8 https://t.me/sotavision/25602

9 A series of criminal cases initiated after massive all-Russian protests in early 2021, held in 130 Russian cities in support of Alexei Navalny's and resulting in thousands of detainees - REM

10 https://t.me/zabelinmaxim/327

11 https://tayga.info/170334

12 https://www.facebook.com/

13 https://t.me/nsk2020ru/1245

2 https://tayga.info/170299

3 https://tayga.info/170567

4 https://tayga.info/170886

5 https://tayga.info/170299

6 https://tayga.info/170624

7 https://berdsky--nsk.sudrf.ru/

20 https://t.me/sotavision/25398

21 https://t.me/nsk2020ru/1298

22 https://t.me/sotavision/25398

23 https://t.me/VGrudina/1042

24 https://ovdinfo.org/

25 https://t.me/nsk2020ru/1244

26 https://www.instagram.com/

27 https://t.me/sapienti_pskov/215

28 https://pskovskygor--psk.sudrf.ru

29 https://pln-pskov.ru/

30 https://t.me/sapienti_pskov/215

31 https://ovdinfo.org/news/2021/01/23/

32 https://pskovskygor--psk.sudrf.ru

33 https://pln-pskov.ru/

34 https://t.me/shlosberg/5670

35 https://t.me/shlosberg/5706

36 https://t.me/nsk2020ru/1234

37 https://t.me/nsk2020ru/1292

38 https://tayga.info/170886

39 https://twitter.com/s_kosoff/

40 https://tayga.info/170495

41 https://t.me/skosoff/26

42 https://tayga.info/170723

43 https://twitter.com/_sergey_boyko/

44 https://twitter.com/alexsandrova888/

45 https://tayga.info/170478

46 https://tayga.info/170723

47 https://twitter.com/yakimenkovyache

48 https://tayga.info/170478

49 https://tayga.info/170886

50 https://ovdinfo.org/

51 https://t.me/rezontova/556

52 https://t.me/zakon_agency/3775

53 https://www.severreal.org/

54 https://twitter.com/kirill5440/

55 https://tayga.info/170723

56 https://ovdinfo.org/

57 https://www.severreal.org/

58 https://ovdinfo.org/

59 https://t.me/sotavision/25258

60 https://vk.com/vazhenkov

61 https://t.me/usmanovaty/1352?single

62 https://t.me/vazhenkovteam/855

63 https://www.sova-center.ru/

64 https://news.sarbc.ru/

65 https://twitter.com/Ukhovs/

66 https://www.idelreal.org/a/31354769.html

67 https://www.idelreal.org/a/31360501.html

68 https://www.facebook.com/yashin.ilya/

69 https://t.me/aburakova/1760

70 https://www.facebook.com/yashin.ilya/

71 https://www.facebook.com/yashin.ilya/

72 https://t.me/o_stepanow/6235

73 https://openmedia.io/news/

74 https://t.me/o_stepanow/6296

75 https://ovdinfo.org/

76 https://openmedia.io/news/

77 https://ovdinfo.org/

78 https://www.facebook.com/soboll.ru/

CPRF rally in Moscow, 2011. Photo by Wikimedia

The Communist Party received 19% of the votes in the last elections to the State Duma. After that, the party's supporters faced unprecedented pressure for the 'systemic opposition.' They were detained, fined, sentenced to administrative arrests, and blocked in the party premises. CPRF continues to challenge the election results and demand an investigation by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Russian State Duma raises retirement age. Image by Wikimedia

On Tuesday, October 12, the new convocation of Russia's State Duma convened for its first session. Roughly a fifth of all lawmakers — 88 of 450 deputies — received their seats from higher-ranked candidates on party lists, winning the jobs because others didn't want them.

Election observation headquarters. Photo by Golos

Statement of the 'Movement in Defense of Voters' Rights "Golos"' on inclusion of its members into the Foreign Agents Registry, October 5, 2021.

Map of Violations, Screenshot Oct. 8, 2021

In total, from the beginning of voting dated September 17, 'Map of Violations' by the 'Movement in Defense of Voters' Rights "Golos"' published 4592 reports. The Map is a project that collects information about possible electoral violations using the principle of crowdsourcing – observers, voters, members of commissions may report alleged violations witnessed during the electoral campaigning or voting using a submission form on the website or a telephone hotline.

REV-2021. By Nackepelo

The "remote electronic voting" or online voting held in the Russian capital during the September 17-19, 2021 elections was scandalous, to say the least. In response, two groups have been formed by the Russian public to scrutinize the results.

Regions by level of electoral fraud
#Analysis

In order to help assess the outcomes of 2021 State Duma elections, the 'Movement in the Defense of Voters' Rights "Golos"' provides a reference analysis, dividing Russian regions into six groups based on the level of falsifications in the federal elections of 2016 and 2018 and in the all-Russian voting in 2020.

#Commentary

A scandal in the capital: lengthy vote tabulation, a radical overhaul of the whole election results, and shut down of the observers' node.

"We don't trust Churov - we trust Gauss". Image by Golos
#Analysis

Sergey Shpilkin analyzes data from 96,840 polling stations that cover 107.9 million registered voters out of 109.2 million on the list. His analysis demonstrates that at the polling stations where the results appear genuine, the turnout is on average 38% and the United Russia's share of votes is between 31% and 33%.

Voting. By Photobank Moscow-Live
#Report

This is a preliminary statement on findings of observation on the main voting day, September 19, 2021, by the 'Movement in Defense of Voters' Rights "Golos".' Golos ran long-term and short-term observation of all stages of the campaign. In the course of the elections, the united call center's hotline received 5,943 calls. The 'Map of Violations' received 4,973 reports of alleged violations by noon 20 September, Moscow time, including 3,787 on the voting days.

Voting. Image by Photobank Moscow-Live. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Voting. Image by Photobank Moscow-Live
#Report

This is a brief overview of election monitoring findings on the Second Voting Day, September 18, 2021 by citizen observers of the 'Movement in Defense of Voters' Rights "Golos"'.

Duma elections. by George Shuklin, CC BY-SA 2.5
#Report

This is a brief overview of election monitoring findings on the First Voting Day by citizen observers of the 'Movement in Defense of Voters' Rights "Golos"'.

Campaigning in Samara. 2011 elections. Image by Golos
#Report

The September 19, 2021 elections are marked by growing pressure on media and individual journalists, attempts at blocking information about "Smart Voting", and massive coercion of voters to vote and register for e-voting and mobile voting. In parallel, social media has been growing in importance for years as a space of more freedom and an alternative information channel. Here are the main findings of the report that focuses on the impact of these two antipodal trends.

Victor Vasnetsov. Three bogatyrs (Medieval Russian Heroes). Photo by flickr user paukrus
#Report

This report covers the monitoring of social networks from the 10th to the 11th week of the election campaign (August 23 to September 5) to the Russian State Duma, scheduled for September 19, 2021.

Russian passports. Image by MediaPhoto.Org, CC-BY-3.0
#Analysis

One aspect of the 2021 Russian parliamentary elections that differentiates them from previous federal elections is the potential participation in the voting process of dozens of thousands of people located on the Ukrainian territories outside of control of the Ukrainian authorities and not recognized as part of Russia by the Russian Federation itself.

Map of Violations Update Sept 6-12. Image by REM
#Report

This is the seventh overview of reports of possible violations of electoral legislation gathered via the 'Map of Violations' by the 'Movement in Defense of Voters' Rights "Golos"' between September 6 and September 12. Since the beginning of the election campaign, 945 messages from 72 regions have been published on the Map.

Poll worker displaying an empty ballot box before the opening of a polling station in Moscow, 18.03.2018. Photo OSCA PA, CC BY-SA 2.0
#Analysis

The de facto impossibility to participate in elections for parties that must register candidates via signature collection turns their existence into a mere formality. This creates a vicious circle in which the system reproduces itself by welcoming only actors that are already 'in' and effectively barring new political players from elections.

Map of Violations Update - Aug 30-Sept 1
#Report

This is the sixth overview of reports of possible violations of electoral legislation gathered via the 'Map of Violations' by the Movement in Defense of Voters' Rights 'Golos' between August 30 and September 5. In total, from August 30 to September 1, 125 messages have been received by the Map.

Social media. Image by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay
#Report

This report covers the monitoring of social networks from the 5th to the 9th week (July 20 - August 22) of the election campaign to the Russian State Duma, scheduled for September 19, 2021.

Vladimir Putin on XVII congress of United Russia in 2017. Image by Wikimedia Commons
#Analysis

Despite its dismal approval rating, Russian President Vladimir Putin's ruling political party can – and likely will – win a constitutional majority in September's legislative elections.

Map of Violations, Golos website. Screenshot - Sept. 1, 2021
#Report

This is the fifth overview of reports of possible violations of electoral legislation gathered via the 'Map of Violations' by the Movement in Defense of Voters' Rights 'Golos' between August 23 and August 29. In total, 100 messages have been received by the Map during this period.

2019 Rally for right to vote in Moscow. Image by Wikimedia Commons

The Moscow City Court has designated the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Alexey Navalny's Headquarters and the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation as 'extremist' organizations. Inter alia, it implies the prohibition to participate in elections.

The authorities have proceeded to banning pro-opposition candidates from running to the State Duma and other legislative bodies on a pretext of involvement in Navalny's projects.

State Duma elections in Sochi, Dec 4. 2011. Image by flickr/Andrew Amerikov
#Report

The elections of the State Duma of Russia of the eighth convocation are marked by considerable tightening of rules for candidate nomination and registration. In fact, the rules are much worse than in 2016, when the current membership of the parliament was elected. Run on the background of harsh restrictions on freedom of expression and information and freedom of assembly and association, the elections are accompanied by a political crackdown against the most active pro-opposition citizens.

Map of Violations, Golos website. Screenshot - Aug. 20, 2021
#Report

This is the fourth overview of reports of possible violations of electoral legislation gathered via the 'Map of Violations' by the Movement for the Defense of Voters' Rights 'Golos' between August 16 and August 22. In total, 98 messages have been received by the Map in that period.

Behind a camera. Photo by Bicanski on Pixnio
#Report

Equality of rights of candidates in media coverage of their election campaign is one of the most important conditions for holding free and democratic elections. For a significant part of Russians, television remains to be one of the main sources of information. During the election campaign, the influence of television in shaping the attitude of the majority of voters towards elections and candidates is often decisive. Here is a summary of monitoring findings for the five main federal television channels during the first eight weeks of the campaign.

Map of Violations, Golos website. Screenshot - Aug. 20, 2021
#Report

This is the third overview of reports of possible violations of electoral legislation gathered via the 'Map of Violations' by the Movement for the Defense of Voters' Rights 'Golos' between August 9 and August 15. Since the beginning of the election campaign, 452 messages from 62 regions have been published on the Map.

 

Screenshot of Golos' statement cover image

On August 18, the Ministry of Justice of Russia included the Movement 'Golos' as the first unregistered organisation into the registry of unregistered public associations performing the functions of a foreign agent. Here is the translation of their statement.

Russian regional elections in 2018. Image by Wikimedia Commons
#Report

According to the CEC data as of 9 July 2021, 4,370 elections and referenda are scheduled for 19 September 2021, including elections to the State Duma, nine gubernatorial elections (new heads will be elected in three more regions), 39 elections to regional parliaments, and 11 elections of representative bodies of regional centres. Here's an overview of legal regulations and peculiarities of these races.

Participants of Just Russia rally take off their uniforms 5 minutes after the start of the Yekaterinburg rally on May 1, 2019. Image by Wikimedia Commons
#Analysis

PART 4: JUST RUSSIA-PATRIOTS-FOR TRUTH

According to sociologists, the same four parties represented in the parliament now: United Russia, the Communist Party of Russian Federation (CPRF), the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), and Just Russia will probably be elected again in 2021. How are these four parties organized? What is their support base in regions?

A screenshot of a live broadcast of the voting process. Image by 'Golos' Movement.

In 2021, the Russian Central Election Commission decided to scrap open video broadcasts from the polling stations – a feature of Russian elections since 2012. The Movement in Defense of Voters' Rights 'Golos' has appealed to the President to help overturn this decision.

Map of Violations, Golos website. Screenshot - Aug. 12, 2021
#Report

This is the second overview of reports of possible violations of electoral legislation gathered via the 'Map of Violations' by the Movement for the Defense of Voters' Rights 'Golos' between August 2 and August 8.

May 1st, 2009. LDPR Rally. Photo by Photobank Moscow-Live / flickr
#Analysis

PART 3: LDPR

According to sociologists, the same four parties represented in the parliament now: United Russia, the Communist Party of Russian Federation (CPRF), the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), and Just Russia will probably be elected again in 2021. How are these four parties organized? What is their support base in regions?

The Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Duncan represented the UK at the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg, Germany, 8-9 December 2016.
OSCE Flags. Photo by Alex Hammond / FCO. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
#Commentary

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly will not deploy international election observation missions to the 2021 State Duma elections due to major limitations imposed on the institutions. Announcing the decision, ODIHR Director noted that the ability "to independently determine the number of observers necessary for us to observe effectively and credibly is essential to all international observation."

Reporter's notebook. Photo by 2008 Roger H. Goun. CC BY 3.0
#Commentary

On 28 July 2021, the Central Election Commission adopted a new media accreditation procedure that restricts media access to observe and report on the electoral process. The new rules violate the freedom of media editorial policy and may significantly reduce the transparency of the election process.

Map of Violations, Golos website. Screenshot - Aug. 5, 2021
#Report

This is the first overview of reports of possible violations of electoral legislation gathered via the 'Map of Violations' by the Movement for the Defense of Voters' Rights 'Golos' between June 22 and August 1.

May 1st Demonstration of the Communist Party, 2012. Photo by Photobank Moscow-Live / flickr
#Analysis

PART 2: CPRF

According to sociologists, the same four parties represented in the parliament now: United Russia, the Communist Party of Russian Federation (CPRF), the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), and Just Russia will probably be elected again in 2021. How are these four parties organized? What is their support base in regions?

Ballot stuffing, elections March 18, 2018, Lyubertsy. Image - Golos
#Commentary

Less than two months before the elections, the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) decided to scrap open video broadcasts from the polling stations, which have been the feature of Russian elections since 2012.

1st of May Demonstration in Moscow. 2010. Image - Photobank Moscow-Live / flickr
#Analysis

PART 1: United Russia

According to sociologists, the same four parties represented in the parliament now: United Russia, the Communist Party of Russian Federation (CPRF), the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), and Just Russia will probably be elected again in 2021. How are these four parties organized? What is their support base in regions?

Ballot box for voting on Constitutional Amendments 2020. Photo - Wikimedia Commons
#Report

Since the last State Duma elections in 2016, lawmakers have introduced 19 amendments to the election law. In the year leading up to the State Duma elections in September 2021 alone, seven significant legislative amendments have been introduced, six of them in less than four months before the start of the campaign.

TV reporter, Bryansk. Photo - pxfuel
#Analysis

After almost a decade of crackdowns on big players, the landscape of critical journalism in Russia is dominated by local or smaller niche projects. But if the 2020-2021 trend of relentless attacks on media, journalists, and bloggers continues, many of these small projects are not likely to survive into the autumn. The regime makes it pretty clear that it no longer intends to tolerate any dissent.

"1941- ssshhh!" - Image by James Vaughan / flickr

The laws on "foreign agent" and "undesirable organizations" continue to hamper the work of affected organizations, stigmatize and damage their reputation, and isolate the civil society from international cooperation and support. What are these provisions and how are they being applied?

Vladimir Putin Speech at State Duma plenary session 2020-03-10. Image - Wikimedia Commons

The Russian State Duma's seventh convocation is coming to the end of its five-year term. And according to a new report from iStories and Znak.com, dozens of its deputies haven't said a word in a parliamentary session since they were elected in 2016. Others haven't put forward a single bill. Be that as it may, this hasn't stopped these lawmakers from collecting high salaries and planning to put their names on the ballot for the State Duma election coming up in September.

Kaluga. A Holiday. Image - flickr
#Analysis

During the United Russia primaries, experts detected possible falsification of the results and instances of interference in the electronic voting process. According to some analyses, 99% of votes for the first 22 candidates on the United Russia party list were falsified while the amount of falsified votes for candidates in single-mandate constituencies reached 80-95% of the votes cast.

Arrest by the police. Image - Wikimedia Commons
#Report

According to election observers, recent amendments further limiting citizens' passive suffrage constitute a "fifth wave" of depriving Russians of their right to stand for election since the collapse of the USSR. New restrictions have a particular impact on politically active citizens.

Programming, computing and information concept. Image - Peshkova, Getty Images Pro
#Report

In May, the Russian Federation has tested a new system of remote electronic voting. The Movement in Defense of Voters' Rights "Golos" observed the testing phase, took part in the voting, and shared their conclusions and recommendations in a respective report.

"I have the right to choose!" Photo - EPDE.
#Analysis

Opportunities for independent citizen election observation and civil society space in general have been shrinking steadily in Russia over the past decade. Recently, further restrictions have been adopted that limit the ability of citizens to independently monitor electoral processes.

May 1st Demonstration of the Communist Party, 2012. Image by _TMY2892/flickr
#Analysis

Over the past 14 years, the authorities have blocked 120,000 candidates from participating in elections of various levels, depriving millions of Russian citizens of the right to choose their representatives.

A demonstration in Moscow. Image - by Andrey, Pxhere.

Russia has finally outlawed Alexey Navalny's political and anti-corruption movement. Here's how the crackdown affects activists, journalists, and ordinary supporters.

Plenary meeting of the State Duma. Image - Wikimedia Commons
#Commentary

The President of Russia approved the law prohibiting those who are "involved" in the activities of an extremist organization from running in elections.

Electoral headquarters of Alexey Navalny. Photo - Wikimedia Commons
#Analysis

On June 9, the Moscow City Court, based on the charges by the Moscow Prosecutor's Office, recognized the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), the Foundation for the Protection of Citizens' Rights, and the headquarters of Alexei Navalny as extremist organizations. Now, many citizens are under a threat of pressure and persecution.

Vladimir Putin at the United Russia Congress (2011-11-27). Image - Wikimedia Commons
#Analysis

Between May 24 and 30, United Russia held its preliminary selection of candidates for 2021 State Duma elections. Nearly 12 million citizens participated in the party's primaries. Yet, a more careful examination shows an increasingly controlled and non-transparent process, aimed at having the public formally 'endorse' a carefully vetted list of pre-selected candidates.

Meeting of Central Election Commission Chair Ella Pamfilova with OSCE / ODIHR Director Matteo Mecacci. Photo - CEC
#Report

Between 2003 and 2018, OSCE/ODIHR published 139 recommendations on how to improve the conduct of elections in Russia. In the run-up to the State Duma elections in 2021, Russia has fully implemented just over 10% of them. Some have been tackled more promptly than others.

Man using computers. Photo by: Lisa Fotios from Pexels
#Analysis

Ahead of the State Duma election on September 19, 2021, Russia just tested its remote electronic voting system. While the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation (CEC) is preparing the report about the results of the test, election monitors say Russia's electronic voting system is a black box.

Alexei Navalny. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
#Analysis

The Russian authorities are expected to orchestrate a result in the upcoming State Duma elections that will give United Russia a clear majority of seats. This does not mean, however, that the manipulation of the electoral process by the authorities is complete. In a limited number of competitive districts, true opposition candidates including candidates who are associated with Aleksei Navalny have a real chance of winning if they are allowed to run. In recent weeks, steps have been taken to block these 'undesirable' candidates from participating.

Central Election Commission (CEC) of Russian Federation during April 21, 2021, meeting. Photo by: CEC.
#Commentary

On March 19, 2021, the new composition of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of the Russian Federation was revealed. Out of 15 members, eight new people joined the CEC. In particular, the new Commission has been 'reinforced' by bureaucrats from the Presidential Administration, the State Duma, and the Civic Chamber (a consultative civil society institution closely linked to the government).