YABLOKO to dispute in court the results of elections to the Novgorod Regional Duma
The Novgorod Region Court allowed the claim of the Novgorod branch of YABLOKO on recognition the results of the election to the Novgorod Regional Duma void to proceed.
The Novgorod branch of YABLOKO stated that despite the provisions of the law, the Agency of Informational Communications deprived YABLOKO of the right to publish its campaign materials for free in the regional mass media. Consequently, YABLOKO failed to use its right to free publications in eight regional media.
However, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation pointed out that elections can be considered free only when the right to information and freedom of expression was actually guaranteed and actually provided. One of the guarantees of the right to conduct election campaign should be the possibility for the candidates and electoral associations to use certain area in printed mass media for free.
Refusal to provide free area for publications in the media disrupts the principles of equality of candidates and parties in elections.
At the same time a regional television channel spread libel about YABLOKO candidates and members openly urging voters not to give their votes for YABLOKO. The regional branch of the party stated that the 0.17 per cent the party list lacked to overcome a 5 per cent threashold to the Regional Duma might be due to the libel campaign unleashed against YABLOKO be the regional television channel.
In addition YABLOKO pointed out that candidates from the ruling United Russia party bribed people to get their votes which was unlawful and formed grounds for annulling the results of the elections in those constituencies.