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Vladimir Lukin: The Central Election Commission is becoming closed to public oversight

29 March 2013 

Source: (info
The Central Election Commission is becoming a body closed to public oversight, Federal Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin stated in his annual report on human rights in Russia, published on 29 March in Rossiiskaya gazeta

According to Lukin, ‘they do not want, as a matter of principle, to give the human rights ombudsman any information that would allow light to be shed on violations of electoral rights.’ Lukin considers this to be a restriction on his duty to review complaints by citizens against violations of their rights to elect and to be elected. 

The Ombudsman’s report also points out that despite information published by the Central Election Commission about complaints of violations of electoral rights at the latest parliamentary and presidential elections, ‘there is no one to confirm or to deny these allegations.’ Lukin pointed out that at the time of writing the report he did not know of instances when information about violations of the electoral rights of citizens had been investigated by the appropriate authorities, and those responsible for the violations had been given due punishment. 

Lukin also criticized the laws on public assembly and NGOs passed in 2012, reports, citing Rossiiskaya gazeta

‘All together the events of the past year concerning the realization of the right to peaceful assembly give grounds for optimism rather than pessimism. Citizens in our country and the public authorities are gradually acquiring important experience in the application of Article 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation (“On the right of free assembly”)’ the report says. 

The Ombudsman’s report has been presented to President Vladimir Putin. 

At the December 2011 elections to the State Duma, observers registered more than 4,000 reports of violations during the voting. Many complaints were received by Moscow courts. On the basis of these complaints, the Investigative Committee opened two criminal investigations.