Golos Applauds Decision of Constitutional Court

06 июля 2011 г.

Moscow, 7 July 2011. In a statement released today, Golos Association, an organization dedicated to protecting voters’ rights, praised today’s decision of the Constitutional Court declaring unconstitutional regional laws that require 100% of candidates running for office in local governments to be elected from political party lists.

Golos Applauds Decision of Constitutional Court
Moscow, 7 July 2011. In a statement released today, Golos Association, an organization dedicated to protecting voters’ rights, praised today’s decision of the Constitutional Court declaring unconstitutional regional laws that require 100% of candidates running for office in local governments to be elected from political party lists. Now that such restrictive election requirements have been ruled unconstitutional, ”we call upon regional legislatures to immediately pass legislation to conform to the court’s decision,” the statement said.

“Today’s ruling by the highest constitutional authority is but a small step, but it is definitely a step in the right direction,” said Lilia Shibanova, Golos Executive Director. “We believe voters have a right to make real choices in all elections and the Court’s decision appears to recognize that basic right. However, we are disappointed that the ruling was not broader in scope. If placing arbitrary limits on who can run for office is unconstitutional at the village level, it is also unconstitutional at the regional and national level.

The case stems from a complaint filed in the Constitutional Court by Yuri Gurman, a Golos activist, and Ivan Boltushenko, both residents of Khomutinino village. In 2009 their region introduced a 100% proportional party slate system for municipal elections. In doing so, the regional legislators made the implementation of citizens’ constitutional rights dependent of their political affiliation. As a result non-partisan citizens lost the right to run for office in local governments.

“We will continue working for free and fair elections in Russia,” Shibanova declared, “Decisions such as this serve to reinforce our belief that Russian citizens have a fundamental right to and deserve elections that offer real choices for voters, in which each citizen’s vote is of equal weight and all votes are counted honestly.”