CEC submits election symbols to Medvedev’s approval.

27/7 Tass 217

GORKI, July 27 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Central Election Commission has submitted election symbols for President Dmitry Medvedev’s approval.

“We’ll show you the first draft election symbols. If you approve it, we’ll use it widely,” Central Election Commission chairman Vladimir Churov said at a meeting between President Dmitry Medvedev and representatives of election commissions on Wednesday.

Churov explained, “This is the so-called innovation ‘checkmark’, which reminds you of the symbols that are used to download files from Internet, as well as the carved wood toy, the Bird of Happiness.”

“It’s great!” Medvedev smiled when looking at election symbols.

Churkov also said that on December 4, deputies in 27 Russian regions would be also elected. “For the first time in our history elections will coincide,” he said, adding that the total number of nominees could exceed 50,000 people.

“Preparations for organising the elections proceed according to plan. Third quarters of all necessary normative acts have been approved,” the CEC chairman said, adding that after the president signed three laws in the beginning of the week, the remaining documents would be passed.

Churov said new members had begun working in 60 commissions of Russian regions due the expiry of period of previous commissions. Computer equipment is being renovated in territorial election commissions and regional commissions. By September new equipment will be put into operation, Churov added.

Medvedev signed a law, which will unify a form of candidacy lists for elections and referendums.

The law was approved by the State Duma on July 5, 2011 and passed by the Federation Council on July 13, 2011. It contains amendments to previous legislative acts, in particular to the law of July 12, 2002, “On Key Guarantees of Election Rights and Rights to Taking Part in Referendums”, and to the law of January 10, 2003, “On the Elections of the President of the Russian Federation”.

New amendments unify a form of candidacy lists for signatures collection in elections and referendums at different levels.

Candidacy lists will include information on passport data and a signatory’s residency. It will be necessary to specify information on unquashed or outstanding conviction, party membership etc.

The law also includes provisions under which signatures of an elector or a participant in a referendum will be recognised invalid or inaccurate.

Forms of candidacy lists are made public in supplements to the law.

The law came into effect since it has been officially made public.

The State Duma elections will take place in December 2011 and the presidential elections will be held in March 2012.

Parliamentary elections are always a serious political struggle and people’s confidence in their outcome depends on professionalism of election commissions, Medvedev said.

“Parliamentary elections are always a serious and severe political struggle,” he said.

“We need a firm civil position and, sometimes, human courage. People’s confidence in our election system and the outcome of the elections depends on your professionalism,” Medvedev stressed. “Next March we will elect a new president,” he recalled.

The president said such expanded meeting was held for the first time. “It [the meeting] involves representatives of election commissions at all levels. And it is not incidental.”

He said much work should be done for the commissions to prepare for the State Duma elections. Regional and municipal elections will be held simultaneously. “This will be the most significant election campaign of late years,” the president said.

He stressed, “Its results will determine the alignment of forces. Thousands of your colleagues and you bear special responsibility for ensuring law and transparency.”

In addition, Medvedev said present-day voting instruments at the 2011 parliamentary elections should be put at more than 5,000 polling stations in all Russian regions.

Electronic vote counting systems will help exclude any foreign interference and guarantee law, Medvedev said.

“Apart form performing the legal and normative base it is necessary to continue technical re-equipment of election commissions,” he said. The president recalled that re-equipment should be fully completed by 2015.

“The electronic vote counting system should, finally, exclude any foreign interference and guarantee law,” he stressed.

The president noted, “During the upcoming State Duma elections, present-day voting instruments are expected to be put in 83 Russian regions at more than 5,000 polling stations [on average, about 5 percent of the vote], as well as at polling stations abroad.”

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