Participation of the PABSEC delegation in the observation mission for the elections of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the Eighth Convocation, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 17-19 September 2021
The PABSEC Delegation, composed of Mr. Petar Kanev, Head of the PABSEC Bulgarian Delegation and Mr. Asaf Hajiyev, PABSEC Secretary General, was on an observation mission for the elections of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in the capital of Kamchatka Region, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on 17-19 September 2021.
On 17 September 2021, within the framework of the election observation mission, the PABSEC delegation visited the Regional Election Commission and met with Ms. Inga Irinina, Chairperson of the Election Commission of the Kamchatka Region, who informed the PABSEC delegation about the election procedure, legislative requirements, as well as the functioning of Polling Stations. The PABSEC delegation also took part in the opening of the polling station No 23.
The PABSEC delegation met with Mr. Vladimir Solodov, Governor of the Kamchatka Region, Mr. Vladimir Ruslanov, Minister of Tourism of the Kamchatka Region, and Mr. Viktor Makhinya, Acting Minister for Development of Civil Society, Youth and Information Policy of the Kamchatka Region, and was informed about the figures of social and economic development, as well as achievements and specific nature of the Kamchatka Region.
The Election Commission of the Kamchatka Region under the leadership of Ms. Inga Irinina did a tremendous job in due preparation and organization of voting, enhancement of legal awareness of voters and other participants in the election process, boost voter turnout, and ensure coordination with the regional administration, local authorities, the media, regional branches of political parties and civil society. With the aim to avoid any risk associated with the coronavirus infection, the recommendations of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation were observed during the preparation and conduct of the elections.
On the days of voting on 17, 18, and 19 September the PABSEC delegation monitored the voting process at different polling stations in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. In the Kamchatka Region, elections of the State Duma, the regional legislative assembly, and local self-government bodies were held. Local election commissions (LEC) were well prepared for receiving voters and organizing voting. All polling stations were provided with personal protective equipment for both voting participants and commission members. According to the assessment of the PABSEC delegation, the election procedure was well organized and all the regulations were strictly followed. The PABSEC delegation is of the opinion that the elections proceeded without any violations, and in full compliance with the democratic principles.
The LEC functioned from 8:00 to 20:00 and 14 regional and 187 local election commissions were involved. For 3 days and nights, a video surveillance system was operating with live broadcasts from the polling stations for the internal portal. All political parties had access to this portal through their account. The 7/24 video surveillance at the polling stations monitored the work with the lists, vote bulletins, stationary and portable ballot boxes, smart electronic vote-counting machines, safes for storing vote documentation, spaces where vote bulletins are transferred from the ballot boxes to the safe packages or vote-counting machines.
The three-day voting for the elections of deputies of the State Duma and the regional legislative assembly ended in Kamchatka on 19 September at 20:00 local time and 42.37% of voters took part in voting for the elections to the State Duma, while 31.46% of voters - in the elections to the regional legislative assembly. Kamchatka voted for the six single-mandate candidates to the State Duma nominated by “United Russia”, the “Communist Party of the Russian Federation”, the “Liberal Democratic Party”, the “Russian Party of Pensioners for Social Justice”, “Just Russia - Patriots - For Truth” and “New People”. For the elections of deputies of the new convocation of the Legislative Assembly in Kamchatka, formed by the majoritarian system, almost 400 candidates from eight political parties and 17 self-nominated candidates competed for the seats.
The MPs of the State Duma are elected for five years by a mixed electoral system: 225 deputies are elected by party lists, and another 225 parliamentarians are elected by single-mandate constituencies. Polling stations across the country operated from 08:00 local time on 17 September and closed at 20:00 on 19 September. Officially the voting ended in the country at 21:00 Moscow time after the closure of the last polling station in Kaliningrad. The remote electronic voting system was used for 2021 elections in seven constituent entities of the Russian Federation: Moscow, Sevastopol, Kursk, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov, and Yaroslavl regions.
The electoral threshold for political parties was 5%. According to preliminary data, in the elections to the State Duma, five political parties overcome this threshold: The United Russia” - 49.82%; The Communist Party of the Russian Federation - 18.93%, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia - 7.55%, Just Russia - Patriots - For the Truth - 7.46% and New People - 5.32%.