Election legitimacy

Election legitimacy

Last September 10, nationwide elections were supposed to answer a long overdue question, is it possible in Russia to organize the electoral process so that the vote passed with a minimum of violations, and the results were recognized as absolutely legitimate by all political forces and civil society organizations.

RAPE has studied the results of the Single voting day, to see how the CEC was able to implement this legal challenge.

Elections under a microscope

Elections of different level have passed in Russia in the Uniform voting day on September 10 in 82 of the 85 regions. That now cleanliness of elections will be given special attention not only to the leadership of the CEC, but at the highest levels of government was known long before election day.

Proof of this can serve as a meeting September 4, first Deputy head of the presidential administration (AP) Sergei Kiriyenko with the state Duma deputies from the parliamentary parties, representatives of non-parliamentary parties, the popular front, members of the Federation Council and Public chamber.

Kiriyenko explained that the main task of the upcoming elections — legitimacy, told the media the participants of the meeting. Deputy head of the AP even stated that the results of the regional elections in those or other areas will be canceled in case of doubt in the integrity of the vote.

This requirement has not gone unnoticed.

The CEC head Ella Pamfilova confirmed that election observers was created “unprecedented conditions”. According to her, the elections were held “under a magnifying glass and a microscope.”

After Kiriyenko, the head of the CEC promised to “firmly abolish” elections in those areas where there are infringements.

As a result, by words a press-Secretary of Russian President Dmitry Peskov, the elections demonstrated a zero tolerance of the authorities to violations. This time the response to complaints was immediate: excited and held the dismissal.

Peskov words have clear statistical evidence. The CEC received a record low number of complaints. And their character in most of the cases concerned minor issues.

Also about the violation of their rights in the elections much less than usual, the Russians complained to the Commissioner for human rights Tatyana Moskalkova.

The language of numbers

Similar performance was recorded and independent and even opposition observers. For example, the “Map of election fraud”, open the unregistered movement to defend the rights of voters “the Voice”, September 10, collected 1620 cases. This is the lowest figure for a Single day of voting during the work “Map of violations”. For comparison, a year ago, on 16 September 2016, the service has registered 3768 appeals. And, for example, December 4, 2011 — 7800. In six years the number of complaints has decreased by almost 5 five times. The trend is clear.

According to official data, voiced by the Secretary of the CEC Maya Grishina, a “hot line” has received about 1300 messages, 67% of which relate to information on the procedure of voting, including by location. Only 179 of the messages can be classified as complaints of violations of election law, 14% of them relate to lack of information.

For comparison, a year ago, the CEC Chairman, Ella Pamfilova said that in the elections of 16 September 2016, there were about 5.6 thousands of messages on incidents in the campaign. Then it was instituted 32 criminal cases, which, however, is almost two times less than in 2011, when they had 54 cases on electoral violations.

Practice zero tolerance to offences

However, the statistics are too impersonal science, to create a full picture of the legal side of the quality of the organization of this election. In addition, it is obvious that neither the popular vote nor in any country of the world is impossible to hold completely clean, without faults and errors.

The legitimacy and legal status of the election results gives not only work to prevent violations, but also prompt response to detected violations, the effectiveness of measures to eliminate and minimize their consequences.

Consider specific examples of how the authorities and members of election commissions to respond to violations in these elections.

Perhaps one of the most serious violations occurred three days before the election. In the night from 8 to 9 September, the Internet was spread the video, which implies that the meeting with the members of the precinct election commissions of the district Novo-Peredelkino Deputy head of the district Council during the discussion of the upcoming elections gave the commissioners a paper envelope with unknown contents.

The Moscow city election Commission promptly held a meeting, which addressed law enforcement bodies with the requirement to bring the perpetrators to justice. Territorial election Commission of the district Novo-Peredelkino quickly replaced all the chairmen of precinct electoral commissions.

And, characteristically, the new chairmen of the appointed PEC members representing different political parties and public associations. This is not required by law, but such a decision best fits the spirit of law and democracy, which vividly shows the attitude of election commissions. In the end, from the Communist party were assigned to the 16 chairmen of election commissions, from the liberal democratic party — 4, a just Russia — 8, Patriots of Russia — 3, Civic platform — 1, all-Russian society of disabled persons — 3, the Moscow Federation of trade unions — 1.