‘Golos’ Movement has warned against interference of administration in electoral process
On 26 December 2016, at the training for deputy governors responsible for domestic policy, organized by the Administration of the President of Russia, the desirable results of 2018 Presidential Election were voiced: the estimated 70% turnout and the ‘main candidate’ winning 70% of vote. Such information was disseminated by media (particularly, RBC) and in two weeks it was not refuted, giving a reason to believe this information was true.
The society perceives these estimations as a real task, given by Kremlin (taking into consideration the comments of seminar participants). The dissemination of such estimated statistics raise a concern as it can be interpreted as interference of the Administration of the President in the electoral process.
Regarding the upcoming elections, similar estimates may encourage the misuse of administrative resources, what has been repeatedly criticized by the public, as well by the state officials themselves. The desire to please the government will impel the regional leaders to abuse their authority and that would undermine the confidence of citizens in the elections and the election results.
Therefore, we must remind that under the national laws, the Administration of the Russian President or regional authorities shall refrain from any interference in electoral process aimed at achieving certain election results. Moreover, as provisioned by law, election commissions are responsible for managing elections. Within the limits of their powers, they are independent from any state authority. Whereas, the officials, regardless of which administration they represent, are authorized only to support the election commissions in carrying out their responsibilities. The executive authorities and their officials may not replace the election commissions. Moreover, they shall refrain from interference in the campaign process, endorsing candidates, make an influence on turnout, dictating the desired election results to anyone or in any other way to influence voter choice.
We believe that the federal government should delegate the only task to the heads of regional administration, that is to ensure strict compliance with the law. The number and type of violations reported by the election participants, as well as independent observers, shall be regarded as evaluation criteria that should be used in assessing the work of regional administration during the election campaign.
We urge the President of the Russian Federation, the superior officials of the Administration of President of the Russian Federation and the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation to unequivocally warn against the interference of administration officials at all levels in the electoral process.
The Board of Movement advocating voters’ rights ‘Golos’