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Court rejects appeal by Parkhomenko and Lukin to verify mass voting from home in St. Petersburg

22 February 2013 

Source: (info)
Lawyers for the Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin have failed in their attempts to secure an official investigation into allegations of  unlawful mass casting of votes at home in St. Petersburg, Stavropol and Tambov during the presidential election on 4 March 2012, brought to light by journalist Sergei Parkhomenko. 

Citing the privacy of personal information, the judges refused to allow the the fairness of the election to be verified. The likelihood of obtaining an investigation into the fairness of the election process decreases with each passing day – on 4 March 2013 the deadline for keeping election papers expires, which means they could thereafter be destroyed, says

Sergei Parkhomenko identified an unusually high number of votes being cast at home in many regions. "A huge epidemic of 'disabled voters' was registered for the March presidential election."

In almost all regions the percentage of so-called 'disabled votes' in certain areas went through the roof. In order to get these facts investigated, Parkhomenko filed a complaint with Vladimir Putin's executive office and the ombudsman started preparing the documents. Three motions were filed by Lukin's lawyers at the regional courts of Tambov and Stavropol, and in the city court of St. Petersburg.

"I'm a voter too am I not? That means that it's my vote that's been drowned out by these phony 'disabled votes,' " said Parkhomenko.

But the judicial system did not share his view. The head of the analytic department of the office of the human rights ombudsman Nikolai Vasilev told that on 21 February the court in St. Petersburg refused to provide data on disabled voters.

"There was no miracle. This time the court's main argument was that Parkhomenko's interests were not affected by voting at home. We do not agree with this and will appeal against the decision," Vasilev explained.

The lawyer also said that on 4 March the deadline would expire for keeping the paperwork processed during the presidential election. But for now the papers in St. Petersburg have been seized, which means they cannot be destroyed until the higher courts have considered the appeal by the Human Rights Ombudsman.

Vladimir Lukin and Sergei Parkhomenko have also suffered defeats in Tambov and Stavropol, but their lawyers have already appealed against those decisions.

Earlier, the Supreme Court refused to consider a motion to declare the results of the State Duma election in 2011 invalid filed by five private individuals. However, the court ruled that the rights of voters had not been violated and that only those participating in the elections, the political parties, could appeal against the election results.