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‘Golos’ movement warns against restrictions on voluntary donations for legitimate political activities

The board member of unregistered Party of Progress L. M. Volkov said that the company ‘Yandex.Dengi’ warned him of contract termination. As the LLC NPO ‘Yandex.Dengi’ informed, such decision was made because ‘under the current regulatory framework, the use of funds for the purposes indicated by L. M. Volkov could be considered as non-compliant with the election laws’. ‘Golos’ movement has expressed its concern about such developments.

The electoral law regulates the donations exclusively made as contribution to the election funds of candidates, political parties, as well as initiative groups of referendum. The electronic wallet of L. M. Volkov cannot be currently considered as an election fund, as fundraising for election campaign can be started only after the Election Day is announced. Therefore, in respect to the regulatory framework, the use of this e-wallet cannot be regarded as contrary to the election law. Different interpretation of law is not only illegitimate, but also shows that the lawmakers (or those who provide another interpretation of law) are politically biased and the administrative resources are misused to influence the processes of upcoming elections.

Any citizen for any purpose, in compliance with laws, has a right to fundraise before the Election Day is announced. The fact that L. M. Volkov, unlike other citizens or organizations, disclosed the purpose of his e-wallet only demonstrates the openness and transparency of his activities. The early fundraising for upcoming election campaigns is completely natural move, as it is practiced by all candidates and political parties. We have no doubt that even now some persons or organizations without much publicity raise funds for the same purpose.

Voluntary donations transferred to the electronic wallet as contribution to the future election campaigns, before the Election Day is announced, are not in breach of the Russian electoral law. On the contrary, such financial assistance could contribute to the evolvement of Russian electoral system, increase electoral competitiveness, as well as citizen interest in elections.

Board of Movement ‘Golos’ advocating for voters’ rights