Golos: Fear of defeat. How the authorities are trying to maintain control over the citizens' choice

posted 29 Aug 2019, 01:12 by Translation Service   [ updated 29 Aug 2019, 01:16 ]
13 August 2019

Source: Golos

Golos’ experts have analysed the results of the nomination and registration of candidates for the gubernatorial elections, which are taking place on 8 September 2019

The logic of the authorities’ actions in the elections has started to be dictated by a “fear of defeat”, concluded ‘Golos’ experts. They analysed the results of candidate nomination and registration stage of the elections of the highest regional officials, which will take place over a single day of voting on 8 September 2019.

Amid an increase in protest voting, the emergence of strong alternative candidates, and the unpopularity of the authorities’ henchmen, all of the actions of the election administrators are dictated by the fear of losing administrative control over the citizens’ choice and suffering defeat.

In 2018, after the interim governors could not win the first round, despite great administrative efforts, the long-awaited reform of the electoral law was halted. In particular, a decision was made to abandon the mitigation of the municipal filter, which leaves no room for ‘non-system’ politicians to become candidates for the election of regional heads. At the same time, ‘administrative’ candidates easily get through.

Awareness of the growing claims to power in society led to the hasty acceptance, before the elections, of amendments to the legislation that allowed self-nomination in seven regions. This opportunity to distance themselves from United Russia was seized by seven interim governors who were successfully registered. However, none of the 39 remaining self-nominees received their registration for the elections. 

The degradation of political parties that cannot provide the ‘municipal filter’ for their candidates continues, and they are required to enter into agreements with the authorities. Otherwise, their candidates cannot participate in the elections. And so, in the Zabaikalskii region, for the first time in Russian history, there were no candidates from any parliamentary party participating in the elections.

Read further in the analytical report: 

Results of the nomination and registration of candidates in the elections of senior officials of subjects of the Russian Federation on 8 September 2019

Support Golos! - Golos operates thanks to your donations 

Golos, a movement for the protection of voters’ rights, is a leading Russian organisation for the public observation of elections. Golos trains observers, supports the work of the federal hotline and online services, provides legal assistance to voters, participates in improving the electoral system, and conducts short-term and long-term election observation. Our goal is free and fair elections in Russia.

Illustration by Anna Lutskaya

Translation by Mercedes Malcomson