CEC head warns parties from foreign donations to their poll funds.

10/7 Tass 141a

MOSCOW, July 10 (Itar-Tass) — Head of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) Vladimir Churov warned political parties from foreign donations which can come to their election funds during the upcoming State Duma race.

“The law forbids contributions to election funds from foreign citizens and foreign organizations,” he noted, speaking live on the “Vesti on Saturday” TV program. “Participation of foreign citizens is forbidden altogether in election campaigns,” he emphasized.

In Churov’s words, foreign observers are the only exception. “But they should be registered at the Russian CEC and act in compliance with Russian legislation,” he stated.

Speaking of consequences that may follow foreign transfers to election funds, Churov noted, “No dreadful punishments will follow”. “Parties whose funds received such money, must immediately return it to donors,” he explained. “If the cash is already spent and its sum tops a definite percent, such parties may be barred from elections,” the CEC chief said.

Turning to the coming State Duma campaign, Churov underlined that the so-called floating barrier would be operable at the elections for the first time. This means that parties that collected at the elections more than five percent of the vote may claim one parliamentary seat, while parties whose result will top six percent, will get two seats.

The CEC head noted again that the Russian president’s decree on fixing the date of the Duma elections is to appear between August 15 and September 4. “Right after this, the Justice Ministry will publish lists of registered parties that have the right to participate in the elections,” he added.

In compliance with the law, four parliamentary parties are freed from the need to collect signatures to register for elections. “The remaining three are to collect 150,000 signatures in their support”, which is less than at the previous race when the number stood at 200,000, he explained. “Taking into account the fact that around 110 million voters are registered in Russia, 150,000 signatures amount to less than one percent,” he concluded.

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