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Tag Archive for Elections

New reforms aim to make regions more independent

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH- June 18, 2014) Russia is reorganizing the system for electing local government bodies and redistributing powers between federal and municipal authorities. However, the reforms are the latest in a long line of attempts to make regional government more effective, and some experts are sceptical. A

Interfax: Voting system invulnerable, but will require Russian-made software in future – Churov

File Image of Map of Russia for Polling Place Webcams

MOSCOW. June 17 (Interfax) – The head of the Russian Election Commission, Vladimir Churov, has confirmed the invulnerability of the state automated voting system “Vybory” (Elections) but added that in future the system will require Russian, not foreign, software to counter potential threats to it from abroad. “Currently our system (“Vybory”) is invulnerable, but we

Justice Ministry Adds Five More Russian NGOs to ‘Foreign Agent’ List

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2014) Russia’s Justice Ministry has added five nongovernmental organizations to its list of “foreign agents” just days after President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing organizations to labeled as such without their consent. An official statement on the ministry’s website said the decision was made based on “court

Interfax: Golos association to contest inclusion on registry of NGOs-foreign agents in court

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) – The Golos (Voice) association said it intended to contest in court the fact that the Russian Justice Ministry included it on the registry of non-governmental organizations (NGO) – foreign agents. “This will not affect our work in any way. The association is in the process of liquidating itself. As to

Muscovites Turn Out for City Duma Primaries

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 9, 2014) More than 1,000 candidates participated in the Moscow City Duma’s first ever nonbinding primaries on Sunday. The results of Sunday’s poll will have no effect on the Moscow City Duma election, which will be held on Sept. 14. Muscovites were invited to cast their

Putin Brings Back the Option to Vote ‘Against All’

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 5, 2014) Citizens unhappy with all available candidates for city office can now let their discontent be known by ticking off the “against all” option when casting ballots for municipal elections in accordance with a new law signed by President Vladimir Putin. A bill pushing for a return of

Duma Bill Ending Mayoral Elections Passes First Reading

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – April 17, 2014) The State Duma has approved in a first reading a bill that would put an end to direct mayoral elections in some of Russia’s largest cities in what critics said was an attempt to ensure the appointment of mayors loyal to the Kremlin. The

RIA Novosti: Russians Regain Right to Contest Election Results in Court

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law Wednesday allowing Russian voters to contest the results of elections or referendums in court. Under the 2012 amendments to a federal law on voting right guarantees, Russians lost the right to contest the results of elections in court. Russia’s highest court ruled

The Kremlin’s Interest in “Local Business”

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Tatiana Stanovaya – February 12, 2014) The question of whether or not the Kremlin will abolish direct mayoral elections in major Russian cities is likely to be one of the major political intrigues of 2014. Although the Russian Constitution prohibits cancellation of direct mayoral elections, as does the

Navalny Party Denied Registration Over Name

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 21, 2014) The Justice Ministry has denied registration to opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s People’s Alliance political party, citing the existence of another organization with the same name. People’s Alliance members said they were planning to meet with Justice Ministry officials on Tuesday to discuss the government’s repeated rejections of

‘Against All’ ­- disdain as it’s meant to be

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – January 17, 2014) The Russian State Duma currently appears to be keen on returning the “against all” option on all election ballots, except for presidential elections ­ and this is a good thing. Critics say that reintroducing the option will only benefit the ruling United

Russia mulls return of ‘Against All’ option on election ballots

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow News/RIA Novosti – Oleg Sukhov – January 13, 2014) Russian lawmakers are considering a measure to restore the “against all” option on ballots in elections. The initiative seeks to reinstate the opportunity for voters to oppose all the candidates running in municipal, regional and parliamentary elections. The measure is backed by Valentina Matviyenko, the

Interfax: Putin: direct gubernatorial elections a key political trend but specific features of regions must be taken into account

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – Direct elections of governors will remain a key provision of the Russian electoral system, President Vladimir Putin President Vladimir Putin has said. “The right of voters to elect the heads of regions is the main political trend. We will undoubtedly follow it,” he said at a Wednesday meeting with the

Interfax: Kremlin top official calls for fair, legitimate elections in Russia

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Interfax – November 13, 2013) The first deputy head of the Russian presidential administration, Vyacheslav Volodin, has called for fair and legitimate elections in Russian provinces and warned regional administrations against creating “artificial competition,” the privately-owned Interfax news agency reported on 13 November. Volodin was speaking at a session with regional deputy governors. “In the

Interfax: Kremlin calls candidates’ groundless removal from elections ‘yesterday’s instrument’

File Image of Map of Russia for Polling Place Webcams

SNEGIRI, Moscow region. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Russian electoral authorities, including the Central Election Commission (CEC), have managed to minimize the number of situations where potential candidates are banned from running in elections for no discernable reason, head of the Russian president’s homeland policy directorate Oleg Morozov said. “I would like to thank our colleagues

Kremlin denies connection between low voter turnout, bad election date

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MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Vyacheslav Volodin, first deputy head of the presidential administration said he disagrees with the fact that a single voting day, the second Sunday of September this year, was the cause of low voter turnout. “I disagree that September 8 is a day that does not give a high voter turnout,”

Sobyanin and Putin ‘Talked Over’ Navalny Election Participation

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 21, 2013) Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said that he conferred with President Vladimir Putin about the decision to allow opposition leader Alexei Navalny to participate in the mayoral election on Sept. 8, confirming widespread speculations at the time. Putin and First Deputy Chief of Staff Vyacheslav

Interfax: Russians don’t mind ‘against all’ option on ballots

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 16, 2013) Some 43% of Russian citizens support the initiative to reinstate the “against all” opinion on ballots, the Russian Public Opinion Studies Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax on Wednesday. Twenty-one percent of the respondents disagreed with the idea, and 32% said they simply did not care. VTsIOM polled 1,600 people in

‘Against All’ Option Could Reappear on Election Ballots

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2013) The “against all” vote, a popular mechanism of protest until it was stricken from the Russian ballot in 2006, may soon reappear on the initiative of the very people who removed it ­ the ruling United Russia party. Valentina Matviyenko, who is the Federation Council’s Speaker and

Ex-Convicts Regain Right to Run in Elections

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – October 11, 2013) The Constitutional Court ruled Thursday to allow people previously convicted of “serious and very serious crimes” to run for public office, in a move that may pave the way for opposition leader Alexei Navalny and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky to get into politics.

Court Ruling Opens Way for Navalny Election Runs

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 10, 2013) ­ Russia’s Constitutional Court ruled Thursday to overturn a provision barring people convicted of major crimes from running for public office in a move that could open the way for opposition leader and recent Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny to participate in future elections. The court said in

Low Voter Turnout Shows Russians ‘Intuitively’ Recognize that Kremlin Controls All Politics, Pavlova Says

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 1, 2013) Sergey Ivanov, head of the Russian Presidential Administration, said today that the low voter turnout for the September 8 elections was a healthy phenomenon and reflected the increasing sense of well-being of the Russian people. “Thank God, “we have approached” that situation (regnum.ru/news/russia/1714111.html). But

Navalny and the Moscow Mayoral Election – new issue of Russian Analytical Digest

Alexei Navalny file photo

Subject: No. 136: Navalny and the Moscow Mayoral Election Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 From: “Russian Analytical Digest (RAD)” <newslist@isn.ch> RUSSIAN ANALYTICAL DIGEST Newsletter 16 September 2013/No. 136 NAVALNY AND THE MOSCOW MAYORAL ELECTION To download this issue please click here: http://www.css.ethz.ch/policy_consultancy/products_INT/DetailansichtPubDB_EN?rec_id=2712 Analyses Navalny’s Campaign to be Moscow Mayor, by Robert W. Orttung, Washington Re-Setting

RIA Novosti : Most Russians Satisfied With September Polls, Say Results Fair

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 25, 2013) ­ Nearly half of Russians believe that the recent regional elections were fair and are pleased with the results, the state-run Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) said. About 7,000 elections of various types, in which over 40 million of Russians were entitled to vote, were held across

Court Rejects Navalny Election Appeal

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ezekiel Pfeifer – September 23, 2013) A Moscow court on Friday rejected a lawsuit brought by opposition politician Alexei Navalny seeking to cancel the results of the city’s Sept. 8 mayoral election, in which Navalny placed second behind Kremlin-backed winner Sergei Sobyanin. Navalny’s team argued that the results were illegitimate

Interfax: Russian pundits say Putin’s presidential bid natural

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Interfax – September 20, 2013) Russian pundits seem not to be surprised with President Vladimir Putin’s statement that he does not rule out standing in the next presidential election in 2018. Putin said this during a question-and-answer session at the Valday discussion club in Novgorod Region on 19 September. They believe Putin considers this scenario

Have the September elections changed anything?

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Grigorii Golosov – September 17, 2013) Grigorii Golosov is Professor of Political Science, Project Director, Center for Democracy and Human Rights Helix, St. Petersburg Recent regional elections in Russia provoked more interest than usual, mainly because charismatic and controversial opposition leader Alexei Navalny was standing in the Moscow mayoral election. Some results were

Declining Voter Participation, Not Rising Support for Opposition, Greater Threat to the Kremlin, Moscow Analyst Suggests

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 18, 2013) Ever fewer Russians are taking part in elections, a trend that one Moscow analyst has suggested is a greater threat to the Kremlin than any increase in support for opposition figures because it sets the stage of “either a ‘cold’ civil war” with real

RIA Novosti: Moscow Mayor Touts ‘Fair’ Election, Denies Presidential Ambitions

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 16, 2013) ­ Moscow’s pro-Kremlin mayor, who recaptured his post after a closely watched election last weekend, said Monday he would not run for Russia’s presidency in 2018, but suggested that his victory against opposition leader Alexei Navalny has bolstered his legitimacy. Asked about plans to run in the next

Anti-corruption platform wins votes

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Artem Zagorodnov, RBTH – September 16, 2013) The fight against graft has emerged as a rallying cry for Russia’s nascent opposition, yielding victories in local elections. The Kremlin agrees with its critics about the problem. Analysts hope the business climate stands to benefit. Dmitry Bykov, the charismatic Russian

Sobyanin Inaugurated Despite Appeal

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 13, 2013) President Vladimir Putin hailed Moscow’s mayoral elections as fair and transparent at Sergei Sobyanin’s inauguration ceremony Thursday evening, attributing any “opposition votes” to frustration with bureaucrats abusing power. “I’m sure that nobody would’ve voted against Sobyanin. Why would they vote against him? He’s done

The Tortoise Revolution

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – September 11, 2013) When Aleksei Navalny addressed thousands of supporters on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square, he surprised many when he urged the crowd to go home peacefully after the rally ended. Earlier on September 9, the anticorruption blogger-turned-opposition leader appeared to implicitly be threatening mass unrest when he said

TV determines perspective, if not outcome, of mayoral race

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Mark Teeter, special to RBTH – Mark H. Teeter teaches English and Russian-American relations in Moscow. He blogs daily for ‘Moscow TV Tonite’ on Facebook – September 11, 2013) Were you surprised by the results of the Moscow mayor election? The answer for Muscovites may depend on what

How the Moscow mayoral election was stolen

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG, September 12, 2013) Everyone assumes that the Kremlin cheats when it comes to elections. Did the Kremlin steal the Moscow City election for mayor on September 8 from opposition blogger Alexei Navalny? Ballot stuffing has been par for the course. It is widely accepted that the authorities

Navalny to Submit ‘Truckload’ of Complaints to Elections Commission

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 12, 2013) Opposition leader and former mayoral hopeful Alexei Navalny announced Wednesday that he would submit 951 separate complaints of voting violations to the Moscow City Elections Commission on Thursday. “There’s about 50,000 pages here, we’ll have to bring it in a truck,” Navalny wrote in

RIA Novosti: Pundits Look At Ways To Secure Acting Moscow Mayor’s Election Win

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(RIA Novosti – September 11, 2013) Russian political analysts have offered suggestions to secure acting Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin’s victory at the 9 September election, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on 11 September. Political scientist Vladimir Slatinov said that Sobyanin achieved an “insecure” victory and would need to compensate for “this shortcoming in

Roizman Called In for Questioning 2 Days After Mayoral Win

Yekaterinburg file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 11, 2013) Opposition politician Yevgeny Roizman, who won Sunday’s mayoral vote in Yekaterinburg, was scheduled to be questioned by investigators Tuesday as a witness in a criminal case against a former employee of his City Without Drugs foundation. Roizman, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, was one of the

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with elected Russian regional leaders

Putin Descending a Staircase file photo

(Kremlin.ru – Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region, September 10, 2013) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting with heads of Russian regions voted in during regional elections held on the single election day. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Dear colleagues, good afternoon, Voting has closed and you have won your elections; naturally I must congratulate you on your victory

Putin Lauds Elections as Most Transparent Ever

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 11, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday hailed the recent regional elections as “more transparent than ever” as Moscow’s elections commission announced acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin as the official winner of the city’s mayoral vote and set his inauguration ceremony for Thursday. Describing the elections as

Three Who Lost the Russian Election

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 10, 2013) Even as Russians debate whether Aleksey Navalny won by losing, it is already clear that three groups lost the Russian revolution: the KPRF which suffered its worst defeat ever, the Russian people whose political alienation led to an extraordinarily low turnout, and the Kremlin

Roizman’s Victory a Blow to United Russia, Analysts Say

Yekaterinburg file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – September 10, 2013) Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city, elected outspoken opposition politician Yevgeny Roizman as its mayor on Sunday, in a move that dealt a blow to pro-Kremlin forces but gave little actual power to the winner, pundits said. Roizman’s success likely stems from voters’ disappointment with regional

Vorobyov wins gubernatorial election in Moscow region with nearly 79% of vote – final data

Andrei Vorobyov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW. September 9, 2013) Andrei Vorobyov won the gubernatorial election in the Moscow region with 78.94% of the vote, Moscow regional elections commission chairman Irek Vildanov told Interfax. “A. Vorobyov won the election of the Moscow region’s governor upon processing of 100% of voting result reports. He gained 78.94% of the vote,” Vildanov

Prokhorov: Navalny’s performance phenomenal but I would have won in first round

Mikhail Prokohrov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 9, 2013) Election performance of opposition candidate Alexei Navalny was phenomenal, Civil Platform party leader Mikhail Prokhorov said, adding that he could have defeated Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin already in the first round. “The preliminary result of Alexei (Navalny) makes me think that they (the authorities) must have realized there

Moscow Voters Explain Their Choices

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 9, 2013) Moscow held its first mayoral election in nearly 10 years on Sunday, and voter turnout amounted to less than 30 percent, according to exit polls. The contenders included acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Communist Ivan Melnikov, Liberal Democrat Mikhail Degtyarev, Yabloko party chairman Sergei

Generation N: How Navalny Shook Up Politics With His Army Of Volunteers

Alexei Navalny file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, September 9, 2013) For Aleksei Shagal, it all began when he read one of Aleksei Navalny’s blog posts. The 27-year-old freelance journalist was deeply inspired by Navalny, an anticorruption blogger with a nationalist streak, and was propelled for the first time in his life into political activism.

Navalny: this election gives birth to genuine Russian opposition

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – September 10, 2013) No incidents occurred during the Monday rally staged by supporters of opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who ranked second in the Moscow mayoral elections, on Bolotnaya Square. “This election has finally molded politics in Russia,” Navalny said at the rally. He called his election result a victory. “I know that a

Moscow Election Hints at New Political Reality

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 10, 2013) Kremlin-backed candidate Sergei Sobyanin got a victory at Moscow’s mayoral election Sunday, but opposition star Alexei Navalny walked away with a symbolic victory by getting more than he or the government bargained for, analysts said. According to official results, Navalny garnered 633,000 votes in

Sobyanin vs Navalny: One wins, did the other lose?

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – September 10, 2013) The pro-Kremlin Moscow mayor-elect Sergei Sobyanin may have won a firm victory in Sunday’s polls, but unexpectedly high results for his rival, opposition activist Alexei Navalny, suggest authorities got more than they bargained for when they called for snap elections. Instead of a mayor

Moscow elections commission endorses ballot results: 51.37% for Sobyanin, 27.24% for Navalny

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 10, 2013) The Moscow city elections commission endorsed official results of the mayoral election on Tuesday. Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin was proclaimed the winner. He gained 51.37% of the vote while the voter turnout stood at 32.07%. RPR-PARNAS candidate Alexei Navalny ranked second with 27.24% of the vote. Ivan Melnikov

Home voting could have distorted outcome of Moscow mayoral elections – Golos movement

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 9, 2013) Human rights activists call the organization of the Sunday mayoral elections in Moscow exemplary but quoting their own sources say that a runoff could be held to determine the mayor. “There were no crude breaches of law, but there were subtle irregularities which we still have to study,” cochairman

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