The authorities can prevent any candidate from standing for election, and election commissions are unlikely to interfere in order to protect his or her rights. This is one of the main conclusions reached by Golos experts after studying the stage of nomination and registration of candidates in regional and local elections scheduled for the single voting day 2021. Golos experts prepared a large analytical report.
Its main provisions are:
- It is still possible to register as a candidate in elections by signatures, but only if the authorities do not object. Candidates can be removed without any explanation. On the other hand, there are several parties that are clearly favoured by election commissions. Among them are the “Party of Pensioners“, „New People“ and „Communists of Russia“.
- "Municipal filter" continues to be used contrary to the way as intended: it is used to cut off undesirable candidates rather than those who have little support in society. If there is no „United Russia“ candidate in a regional gubernatorial election, the party supports the incumbent and does not put up any rivals for him or her. This happened, for example, in the Khabarovsk territory, where Mikhail Degtyarev of the LDPR went to the polls to replace disgraced Sergei Furgal. This clearly shows that the ruling party is not independent in its decisions.
- The traditional tools for preventing candidates from running for election were supplemented by the recognition of citizens' involvement in the activities of banned organizations. According to the law, this involvement must be confirmed by a court, but in practice, it turned out that election commissions simply need a certificate from the police. Candidates can be removed for virtually any reason, for example, for broadcasting from protests.