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06.04.2020, . 17:52

Resolution of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation On Clarifications of Certain Campaign-Related Issues During Elections of Deputies of the Third State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

In accordance with Article 24 of the Federal Law «On the Election of Deputies of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation», the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation resolves:

1. To approve the Clarifications of Certain Campaign-Related Issues During Elections of Deputies of the Third State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation (attached).

2. To publish this resolution in both «Bulletin of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation» and «Rossyiskaya Gazeta».

A. A. Veshnyakov
Chairman,
Central Election Commission
of the Russian Federation

O. K. Zastrozhnaya,
Secretary,
Central Election Commission
of the Russian Federation

Moscow,
August 13, 1999,
No.8/52-3

APPROVED
Resolution of the Central Election Commission
of the Russian Federation
No.8/52-3 of August 13, 1999

CLARIFICATIONS
of Certain Campaign-Related Issues During Elections of Deputies of the Third State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

With effect from August 10, 1999, the campaign for electing deputies of the Third State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation has started. TV, radio and the print media extensively cover the beginning of the election campaign as well as election-related activities of public political associations and individuals. As it receives numerous inquires, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation believes it necessary to clarify major points related to vote canvassing during the election campaign period.

1. In accordance with Article 8 of the Federal Law «On Election of Deputies of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation» (hereinafter - the Federal Law), election campaigning is understood as activities aimed to encourage or encouraging voters to participate in the election and to vote for or against any registered candidate, for or against any federal list of candidates registered with the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation.

2. Under Paragraph 1, Article 53 of the Federal Law, election campaigning starts from the day of registration of a candidate, federal list of candidates, and ends at 00.00 local time one day prior to voting day.

The Federal Law (Paragraphs 7 and 8 of Article 62, and Paragraph 6 of Article 65) establishes that election campaigning may only be funded from the electoral fund of any registered candidate, electoral association, or electoral bloc that has registered a federal list of candidates.

Any actions of individuals or public political associations that qualify as election campaigning, in case such actions are performed after the official publication of the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation declaring elections of the State Duma Deputies and before the candidates and/or lists of candidates are registered, shall be deemed so performed in violation of the Federal Law. Under subparagraphs (b) and (f), Paragraph 2, Article 91 of the Federal Law, election campaigning prior to the registration of any candidate or any federal list of candidates constitutes valid ground for refusing to register such candidate or federal list of candidates.

3. Election campaigning may be conducted though the mass media, by holding public events, by issuing and distributing printed, audiovisual and other campaign materials and in other forms not prohibited by law.

4. At the appropriate stage of electoral process, citizens of the Russian Federation, political public associations may, in any form allowed by law and by legitimate methods, conduct election campaigning.

Under Paragraph 3, Article 52 of the Federal Law, neither election campaigning shall be conducted nor any kind of election propaganda materials shall be produced or distributed by:

federal bodies of state power, bodies of state power of subjects of the Russian Federation, other state bodies, bodies of local self-government;
persons who hold government and municipal offices, government and municipal employees, servicemen when they are discharging their official duties or taking advantage of their official position and status;
military units, military establishments and organizations;
charity and religious organizations and organizations founded by them;
election commissions, voting members of election commissions.

5. Under Paragraph 5 of Article 48 and Paragraph 3 of Article 52 of the Federal Law, registered candidates holding government offices of category «A» or an elective municipal office shall carry on election campaigning only when they are off duty. Such off-duty time includes any rest and recreation time, including any leave, weekends and public holidays, as well as other days of rest. The above registered candidates may not engage in election campaigning while on official trips.

Under Article 1 of the Federal Law «On Fundamentals of the Civil Service of the Russian Federation» the persons holding government offices of category «A» include the President of the Russian Federation, the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, the Chairmen of the Chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, heads of the legislative and executive in the Subjects of the Russian Federation, deputies, ministers, judges, and other persons holding government positions, which are established for direct discharge of any powers of government bodies.

Article 41 of the Federal Law contains a list of violations affecting the principle of equal electoral rights, which involve misuse by a register candidate, for election campaign purpose, of any advantages resulting from his or her position or office including, in particular, priority access to mass media, use of telephones, fax services, and other communication, information services, and office equipment supporting the operation of government agencies or local bodies of government. However, compliance with this restriction should not prevent any deputies or elected officials from discharging their powers and responsibilities to the voters. Therefore, the Federal Law doesn't apply to any appearances of deputies or elected officials in the mass media, which are unrelated to election campaign, as those are governed by other federal laws, in particular, the Federal Law «On Procedure for Covering the Activities of Government Authorities in the State-Owned Mass Media».

6. Officials, journalists and creative staff members of TV and/or radio broadcasting organizations (hereinafter broadcasters), and editorial offices of mass media shall not participate in highlighting the election campaign through the mass media if these persons are registered candidates or agents of registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs, or authorized representatives of electoral associations, electoral blocs. (Paragraph 6, Article 48 of the Federal Law).

7. Between the day when the decision to schedule elections in officially announced and the day preceding the voting day, the business and other activities of candidates, registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs, agents and authorized representatives of electoral associations, electoral blocs, agents of registered candidates and the organizations whose founders, owners, possessors are and/or whose governing bodies include the said persons or entities shall only be advertised through the channels of such broadcasters and in such print media to which Paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article 55 of the Federal Law does not apply, subject to provision of airtime and print space for a fee, and provided it is paid exclusively with the money of the relevant electoral fund (Paragraph 3, Article 60 of the Federal Law). Thus any advertising of the above individuals and legal entities must be suspended with effect from August 10, 1999 until such candidate and/or federal list of candidates is registered, whereas upon such registration such advertising may only be conducted at the account of the relevant electoral fund. No such advertising is permitted on the voting day or on the day preceding the ballot day.

8. Under Paragraph 4 of Article 41 and Paragraph 8 of Article 48 of the Federal Law, in the course of an election campaign no charity activities shall be carried on by candidates, registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs, which have nominated or registered lists of candidates or which nominated a candidate registered in a single-seat constituency, electoral associations comprised in electoral blocs which have which have nominated or registered federal lists of candidates or nominated any registered candidates in single-seat electoral districts, agents and authorized representatives of such electoral associations, electoral blocs, by agents of registered candidates, and by organizations whose founders, owners or possessors are and/or whose governing bodies include the said persons and organizations, and also by other natural persons and legal entities acting on the request or on instructions of the said persons and organizations. The said persons shall not ask other natural persons and legal entities to render any material and financial aid or services to voters and organizations.

Natural persons and legal entities shall not carry on charity activities on behalf or in support of any candidates, registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs, their authorized representatives and agents. Thus, with effect from August 10, 1999, charitable activities of the aforesaid persons and organizations must be suspended.

9. Articles 8, 52, and 55 through 57 of the Federal Law establish that only registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs that have registered federal lists of candidates may conduct an election campaign in the mass media (via broadcasting channels, in newspapers and periodicals), and exclusively for the account of the electoral fund. No other participants in the electoral process may conduct an election campaign in the mass media.

Equal conditions as regards access to the mass media for the purposes of election campaign is guaranteed to registered candidates running for the State Duma deputies, electoral associations, electoral blocs that have registered federal lists of candidates.

In accordance with Paragraph 6, Article 55 of the Federal Law, a registered candidate nominated by an electoral association, electoral bloc in a single-seat constituency and concurrently included in the federal part of the federal list of candidates of the same electoral association, electoral bloc may not use free air time or printing space on the channels of TV and radio broadcasting organizations and in any periodicals referred to in Paragraph 2, Article 55 of the Federal Law.

A registered candidate nominated by an electoral association, electoral bloc in a single-seat constituency and concurrently included in the federal part of the federal list of candidates of the same electoral association, electoral bloc may use free air time and printing space either as a candidate registered in a single-seat constituency or as a candidate included in the regional group of candidates (Paragraph 7, Article 55 of the Federal Law).

The Federal Law stipulates that any mass media referred to in Paragraphs 4 and 8, Article 55 of the Federal Law, provided they fully abstain from participation in any campaign activities, as well as any specialized TV and radio broadcasting organizations and specialized mass media (cultural-educational, children's, technical, scientific, etc.), provided that they fully abstain from highlighting the election campaign in any form, may refuse to publish or air any election propaganda materials.

Under Paragraph 8 of Article 55, Paragraph 12 of Article 56, and Paragraph 9 of Article 57 of the Federal Law, TV and radio broadcasting organizations and editorial offices of periodicals must, within 20 days after official publication of the decision to call the election, publish information about the rates and terms of payment for any airtime and print space provided for election campaign purposes. The said rates and terms of payment shall be the same for all persons and entities entitled to conduct election campaign via the mass media. Any TV and radio broadcasting organization must publish such information is one of the mass-circulation periodicals where publications have an official nature, for instance, in Rossiyskaya Gazeta. The payment for such publications shall be determined by agreement between the broadcaster and the print medium. The editors of the periodical shall publish the above information is their periodical.

Under Paragraph 17 of Article 56 and Paragraph 14 of Article 57 of the Federal Law, in case any TV and radio broadcasting organization or any periodical referred to in Paragraph 8, Article 55 of the Federal Law fails to publish the above information or fails to notify the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation of its readiness to provide airtime and print space to any registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs, the same may not provide any airtime or print space to them.

Under Paragraph 24, Article 56 of the Federal Law, in TV and radio news programs, any reports concerning election campaign events shall be always presented as a separate bulletin, normally at the beginning of such programs and without any comments. Such news bulletins shall not payable by any electoral fund. The media editors ought to supervise the above new bulletins to make sure they do not give preference to any candidate, registered candidate, any electoral association, electoral bloc, in particular, in terms of time devoted to covering their election campaigns.

10. Pursuant to Paragraphs 1, 3, and 4, Article 59 of the Federal Law, registered candidates, electoral associations, and electoral blocs shall be free to issue printed, audiovisual and other propaganda materials. Such materials may only be produced and distributed with their written consent. The aforesaid materials must contain the names and legal addresses of the organizations (the first, middle and last names and the places of residence of the persons) that prepared printed materials, the name of the organization (the first, middle and last name of the person) that placed an order for printing the given materials and information about the number of copies printed and the date of publication. Originals or copies of any printed materials must be submitted to the appropriate election commission before they are disseminated, along with the information concerning the location (place of residence) of organizations (persons) that have produced and ordered these materials.

11. In accordance with the Federal Law (Articles 60 and 91), any violation of the election campaign rules prescribed by these Clarifications and otherwise established by the Federal Law, including with regard to campaign funding, shall result in refusal to register any candidate and/or federal list of candidates, or withdrawal of registration from any registered candidate and/or federal list of candidates.

Electoral process participants, including mass media officials and journalists, shall be held liable, in accordance with the Code of Administrative Violations of the Russian Federation, for conducting election propaganda when it is prohibited, for breaching any conditions of conducting an election campaign in the media, for production or dissemination of anonymous campaign materials, as well as for deliberate destruction or mutilation of campaign materials.

In case any broadcaster violates the election campaign rules established by the Federal Law, the relevant electoral commission may move the law enforcement authorities, courts of law, or the executive bodies of government charged with pursuit of government policy in the mass media domain, requesting that any unlawful campaign activities be suppressed, and the broadcaster and its officials subjected to any sanctions prescribed by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In case any materials are circulated or made public, which contain appeals to violent usurpation of power, violent changes in the constitutional system and any infringement against the integrity of the Russian Federation, advocate war, or incite social, racial, ethnic, or religious hatred and enmity, the respective broadcasters and periodicals shall be held liable pursuant to the Law of the Russian Federation «On Mass Media» for misusing the media freedoms.







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