Statement by the Human Rights Council of Russia on the Elections of 4 December, 2011

posted 29 Dec 2011, 10:40 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 29 Dec 2011, 12:32 ]
Election commissions at all the levels, from the Central Election Commission to district election commissions, have discredited themselves and must be abolished. The principles on which election commissions are constituted should be changed.



"The Human Rights Council believes that at the present time the state of electoral institutions in Russia does not conform to the international obligations undertaken by our country, and domestic legislation governing elections is being violated.

Numerous gross violations during the election campaign (more than 5000 were registered on the Map of Violations) and the great number of reports in the media and on the Internet about forced voting and direct falsifications (re-written count records and ballot stuffing at polling stations) all serve to indicate that the number of votes that were cast for United Russia [Edinaya Rossiya] has been significantly exaggerated, while the votes of many voters have been stolen.

A mathematical analysis of the voting results indicates that the scale of fraud is large and significantly distorted the election results.

Election commissions at all the levels, from the Central Election Commission to district election commissions, have discredited themselves and must be abolished. The principles on which election commissions are constituted should be changed.

Large-scale violations during the Russian elections of 4 December, 2011, have discredited the state and could lead to a major crisis. Current developments are extremely dangerous. There is only one way to prevent a civic conflict, and that is to eliminate the circumstances under which this fraud has been possible.

We call upon the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights to support all the demands laid out in the resolution of the rally that took place on Bolotnaya Square on 10 December, 2011.

We also call upon the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights to support the following demands:

- To create new election commissions at all levels to include representatives of the presidential candidates, and not to allow representatives of the executive to be members;
- To restore the right of civic election observation, i.e., to restore the institution of public observers from civic organizations;
- To create a special Commission for Civic Trust to investigate violations during the elections to the State Duma. Representatives of all the parties that took part in the elections could be members of this Commission, as well as representatives of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights, and independent experts.

All available information on election violations should be consolidated to facilitate the start of the Commission for Civic Trust’s work.

We call upon those parties who won parliamentary seats (KPRF, A Just Russia and LDPR) to immediately publish all facts of election fraud and violations of the law during the voting process and count that they have at their disposal, on the Internet sources accessible to all Russian citizens.

We call upon these parties to cooperate with the Commission for Civic Trust upon its creation.

We believe that it is necessary to consolidate the efforts of all of those who aim for fair elections, and to create a coordinated system of election observation to ensure that the law is upheld during the presidential and municipal elections to be held on 4 March, 2012."

Ludmila Alekseeva, Chair, Moscow Helsinki Group
Valery Borshchev, member, Moscow Helsinki Group
Yury Vdovin, Civic Control
Oleg Orlov, Chair of the board, Memorial Human Rights Centre
Lev Ponomarev, Movement For Human Rights
Liliya Shibanova, GOLOS Association for Voters’ Rights
Yury Shmidt, lawyer, Human Rights Council of St. Petersburg
Svetlana Gannushkina, Chair, Civic Assistance Committee; member of the board, International Memorial Society

22 December 2011

This is a slightly revised version of a translation that was first published by Memorial Human Rights Centre on 28 December 2011

Ludmila Alekseeva, Svetlana Gannushkina and Lev Ponomarev are members of the advisory board of Rights in Russia

Ludmila Alekseeva lives in Moscow and is chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group. She is a member of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights.

Svetlana Gannushkina lives in Moscow. A member of the board of the Memorial Human Rights Centre and of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights, she heads the Civic Assistance Committee for refugees and IDPs and Memorial's Migration Rights Network.

Lev Ponomarev lives in Moscow and is director of the Movement For Human Rights.