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Rights Group of the Week: Golos

posted 19 Jun 2016, 11:30 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Jun 2016, 11:31 ]
On 15 June 2016 the election watchdog Golos published a report on the outcomes of its monitoring of primary elections held by political parties in May. The report in particular accused the ruling United Russia party of numerous violations during their May primaries. As The Moscow Times reports, Golos also criticized the opposition party Parnas. Citing RBC, The Moscow Times comments: 'Putin's United Russia party repeatedly breached election protocol in 22 of the 35 regions monitored by Golos, RBC reported. Officials and public employees were involved in organizing primaries and rallies in 20 regions, while voter bribery, ballot stuffing and carousel voting were detected in 15 regions. Voters also had their right to a secret ballot violated, Golos said. The organization also accused United Russia and opposition party Parnas of failing to protect voters' personal data.'

Golos, a movement for protecting voters' rights was founded on 5 July 2013 by Russian citizens who had been active participants in the 'Golos Association' which since 2000 had been active in independent monitoring of elections all over Russia, and whose work, the Golos website notes, 'was stopped due to unprecedented pressure' from the authorities. Today the movement is building regional divisions, organizing election monitoring and inviting active citizens to join their work. The goals of Golos are the following: Helping citizens enforce their voting rights, in particular, their right to monitor elections and referendums; Helping the development of Russian elections and referendums as the highest direct expression of people’s power; Helping development of a democratic rule of law society in Russia by raising the level of transparency, openness and lawfulness of elections of bodies of federal, regional and local government; Consolidating civil society forces for the purpose of conducting elections and referendums in strict accordance with the law.

Sources:
Russian Election Watchdog Accuses Parties on Both Sides of Primaries Violations, The Moscow Times, 15 June 2016
'Отчет об итогах наблюдения за организацией и проведением политическими партиями процедуры предварительного голосования (праймериз) по отбору кандидатов для выдвижения на выборах в единый день голосования 18 сентября 2016 г.,' Golos, 15 June 2016
Еlizaveta Antonova, Farida Rustama, '«Голос» обвинил ПАРНАС и единороссов в дискредитации праймериз,' RBC, 15 June 2016
Golos website in Russian
Golos website in English
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