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Eternal Reign of "Bears"

Eternal Reign of "Bears"
Elena Loskutova 14.10.2008

The bill has been brought in the State Duma, according to it in case of its acceptance and coming into force in our country no registered parties, except for the ones present nowadays in the State Duma would remain. The bill "About Modification of the Clause 38 of the Federal Law "About Basic Guarantees of Suffrages" and Federal Law "About Elections of Deputies of the State Duma" brought one of these days by Legislative Assembly of the Perm territory into the State Duma assumes cancellation of a selective pledge at federal elections - to the State Duma. No matter what this initiative of the Perm legislators is - answer to the "request" from above or own desire to please - its authors obviously are not satisfied with legislative "charms" of last years.

Suffrages of citizens were extremely cut down without it. Since 2001 increase of "necessary" number of parties increased so that the opportunity of their formation was limited. In 2003 a ban on participation in elections of social movements (only parties since that time had that right) was imposed. In 2004, covering itself by "struggle against terrorism", authority destroyed one-mandatory districts at elections to the State Duma and direct elections of governors. In 2005 the norm allowing to bring both the pledge and signatures so that candidates could feel themselves secure was cancelled.

Now legislators want to guarantee nonparticipation of candidates unnecessary to them in elections to Duma.

For last years blocks at elections were forbidden and the barrier increased up to 7 percent. The "antiextremist" amendments which gave to authority large powers on deducing from elections of oppositional candidates were authorized then. In the same 2006 the column "against all" giving opportunity to express the will of the voters even in the event if they did not see among the candidates worthy ones was cancelled. The percent of allowed "spoilage" in signatures was reduced from 25 up to 5, at that signatures could be recognized doubtful or void for any trifle.

Actually the authority gave itself unlimited opportunities on cutting of objectionable to it parties at any elections and it became seen in a number of regions. One more innovation from the same line became destruction of voter turn-out at elections. What do we need voters for, if we can choose ourselves by ourselves. As deification of the marasm - prohibition of direct criticism of the candidates by each other on teledebates.

Practice, however, was even severe than legislations: arrests of circulations of newspapers and detention of propagandists; illegal interdictions of pre-election meetings and processions and their dispersals; "debates" taking place in the afternoon or at night where some minutes or seconds for all were given to the participants - as opposed to the party in power and Putin being constantly on TV. Non-admission of the candidates even to such "debates". Refusals in granting of premises for meetings of candidates with voters, private interdictions on accommodation of the outdoor advertising, etc. Authority intimidated voters, forced them to vote for it, rounding in people with absentee ballots from whole enterprises. Observers were taken away from many sites with usage of force. Now it appears, it's not enough. The initiative on cancellation of a selective pledge at elections to the State Duma is being moved forward.

It is known that it's unreal for opposition party to be registered due to the amount of signatures for this reason at elections of 2007 many parties deposited pledge. Now initiators of the bill want to deprive in general off an opportunity to participate in elections to any other parties except for the one sitting now in the State Duma. In fact parties sitting in the State Duma are being registered at elections automatically, it is not necessary for them to have either signatures, or pledge. In the bill offered this norm is not cancelled. I.e. innovation on interdiction of registration on the basis of pledge will touch only extraparliamentary parties including new ones if they have been established.

At the last elections the authority penciled extraparliamentary parties pity percents, now it is offered not to let anybody except for the ones sitting now in the State Duma to participate in elections. The top of cynicism is explanation of the authors of the project (from an explanatory note) "the offered changes are directed on maintenance of equal opportunities of political parties on participation in elections of the deputies of the State Duma including political parties which do not possess corresponding financial opportunities, small parties, new parties".

What equal opportunities we are talking about, if one are disfranchised and others will be for sure admitted to these elections, moreover without any competition? If to speak about any equality at all, it is logical to simplify, at least, petition and to reduce the size of the pledge. Those who can - let bring pledge, others - signatures (in fact it is known that a party spends decent means for payment of the collectors of signatures, let it be even smaller than the amount of the pledge). Here we have vise versa: to level the rights, they take them away from others instead of enduing the rest.

But that's no all. The party which has not been participating in elections for 5 years is liquidated according to the law about the parties. To survive it is necessary for the party to participate in elections either in two tens regions, or at least in elections to the State Duma. The last is easier to carry out. The bill brought, in case of its acceptance and coming into force, destroys this opportunity. Then only those who sit now in the State Duma will remain in the country, they will re-elect themselves both in center and in regions. There will remain no old extraparliamentary parties, new ones also won't be registered.

Bringing similar projects are afraid of own shadow, for political field has been already burnt out by them. "Bear" reign will proceed until their rusting system will not collapse or till the time they while they will burst.

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