29 Aug 2018 15:08

CEC demands changing provision on 'municipal filter'

MOSCOW. Aug 29 (Interfax) - Russian Central Elections Commission Chair Ella Pamfilova has spoken in favor of changes to the municipal filter, which she says is now used as an instrument of unfair political competition.

"We see the flaws of the legislation. The first problem - it's something that is outside our terms of reference - is that we see abuse of administrative resources, abuse in the use of the so-called 'municipal filter,' that, is, the use of various methods to cut off inconvenient, competitive candidates," Pamfilova said at a CEC meeting on Wednesday.

"That is why we all insist that this provision should be changed," she said.

The "municipal filter" should not "cut off and destroy political competition," she said.

"The municipal filter is a procedure for collecting the signatures of 5% to 10% (depending on the region) of the total number of deputies of representatives bodies of municipal entities to nominate people to elections of the heads of regions.

The expert community has repeatedly criticized this procedure for the possibility of abuse and the use of administrative pressure.

In July, Ella Pamfilova said she regretted that "the infamous municipal filter prevented possible candidate from running in elections" and promised to raise that issue in the working group of the Russian presidential administration.

"The CEC and I personally regret it very much that some of the people candidates have, unfortunately, been prevented from running in the coming elections by the form in which the filter is used. That is not good for the people as it narrows their opportunities," she said at a commission meeting on July 11.

"Therefore, the issue of infamous filter is number one issue. The CEC fully agrees with that. It [the filter] should not kill competition. We should not have a situation when one of the parties engages in political charity," she said.

Pamfilova said she had discussed the work of the group, which was created specially for changes in the electoral legislation, with Sergei Kiriyenko, first deputy head of the Russian presidential administration. She said the group will begin working immediately after the election and she will raise this issue.