YABLOKO handed to the Central Electoral Commission changes in the electoral legislation
Press Release, 28.03.2017
Today, YABLOKO Chair Emilia Slabunova, handed over to Ella Pamfilova, Chair of the Central Electoral Commission, a package of amendments that the party proposes to introduce into the electoral legislation. The document contains over 40 proposals concerning all aspects of the electoral process.
“These measures will ensure the development of the party system and democracy. Our proposals are systemic and contribute to improvement of electoral legislation, because changes in this legislation significantly affect the turnout, the election campaign and the results of the vote,” Emilia Slabunova said.
YABLOKO proposes to oblige candidates to personally participate in the debates on federal television channels, cancel the “day of silence” (i.e., prohibition on campaign on the day before voting) and the “municipal filter” in the gubernatorial elections, and to introduce a single voting day on the second Wednesday of November, making it a day off.
The party stands for the creation of a list of voters in Russia: this will enable people to vote at the place of their actual location. In addition to this, YABLOKO proposes to abolish absentee ballots and create a voter’s passport. This will allow you to introduce Internet voting and remote collection of signatures. This can be done on the basis of the State Services Internet Portal.
To eliminate the system of “locomotives” (i.e. VIPs topping party lists before the voting day and immediately announcing that they can not become MPs after their party gets the ballots with their help) YABLOKO proposes to deprive such parties of their mandates, if 25 per cent of candidates from their lists abandon their mandates. YABLOKO also proposes to introduce a unified principle of nominating candidates. Thus, parties with representation in the legislature of at least one region can nominate their candidates for presidential election without collection of voters’ signatures.
Candidates from parliamentary parties and parties that have won at least 0.5 per cent of the total number of voters in the country should participate in the elections to the State Duma without collecting signatures.
Participation of candidates in regional elections should be organized in accordance with the same principle: if a party is represented in a Legislative Assembly or has won at least 0.5 per cent of the total number of voters in the region in previous elections, its candidates should not collect signatures.
YABLOKO proposes to consider dissemination of information on the professional activities of the candidate election campaign propaganda so that to ensure fair political competition. Equality of candidates will ensure the calculation of broadcasting time a candidate gets for campaigning.
The order of formation of election commissions should also be changed. They must be transferred to representative bodies of the appropriate level. The right to make proposals for the formation of electoral commissions should be vested exclusively in political parties.
Precinct electoral commissions should also be formed as juries, and administrative responsibility should be introduced for refusal to work in the election commission.
The share of state and municipal employees should be reduced in electoral commissions from 50 percent to 25 per cent of the total number of its members. State and municipal employees should be deprived of the right to appoint chairperson of electoral commissions, their deputies and secretaries of commissions. This will considerably reduce the pressure on the commissions by the authorities.
The party considers it important to mandatory include representatives of regional branches of parties receiving over three per cent of the vote at the past elections to the State Duma into regional electoral commissions.
The party proposes to give the right to invite international observers for presidential candidates and the parties with registered lists of candidates for the State Duma elections.
YABLOKO’s package of amendments also contains proposals on consideration of complaints by electoral commissions and administrative law suits to courts on cancellation of voting results.
According to Ella Pamfilova, Chair of the Central Electoral Commission, her discussion with representatives of YABLOKO lasted longer than with other political parties, because the party presented important proposals. She noted that she expected close cooperation with the party in the autumn election campaign and expressed interest in the maximum number of observers from YABLOKO.
“YABLOKO’s proposals are much more advanced and outstrip much of what there is in Europe,” Pamfilova concluded.