Elections Commission has no complaints about Valentina Matviyenko, opposition does not give in

MOSCOW, August 3 (Itar-Tass World Service) – St. Petersburg’s elections commission did not reveal any violations over the scheduling of elections in the municipal districts of Petrovsky and Krasnenkaya Rechka, where Governor Valentina Matviyenko is registered as a candidate. Thus, the way to the Federation Council, where she should take the position of the speaker at the presidential initiative, is open. But the opposition, who learned about the elections only after the nomination of candidates had been over, are not going to give in and rely on prosecutors’ inspection.

The Novye Izvestia writes that on August 1, Deputy Chairman of the city’s election commission Dmitry Krasnyansky said that the official fact of holding the elections had been confirmed on Monday only, though the decision to hold the elections was made supposedly in June. Thus, there was a decision to check if the unexpected elections are legal. Already on August 2, Krasnyansky voiced its results: no violations of the law had been revealed. “The decision to organize the elections were in fact published according to the regulations in the municipal newspapers,” he said.

Valentina Matviyenko explained her “secretiveness” by her holidays, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta reports. She said that she had been registered as a candidate back on July 27, but at that time she was on holidays and did not speak to reporters. The elections in the Petrovsky and Krasnenkaya Rechka are due on August 21. According to the political scenario, by August 22, Valentina Matviyenko should leave the position of St. Petersburg’s Governor.

The demand to abolish the elections due on August 21, about which the opposition learned only after candidates’ nomination had been over, was filed to the Central Elections Commission by the Just Russia Party’s regional division and the State Duma Deputy Oksana Dmitriyeva, the Kommersant reports. It was also she who addressed Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika with a demand to check if the scandalous elections are legal.

On Tuesday, representatives of the Communists, Yabloko, Just Russia and of the Civil Coalition for protection of St. Petersburg (unites about 30 civil organizations) signed a petition where they promise to “press for ruining the monopoly of United Russia for power in St. Petersburg.” The Kommersant refers to participants in Tuesday talks between the opposition parties and the Civil Coalition, who claim they also discussed the tactics of fighting the illegal, as they believe, procedure of electing Valentina Matviyenko as a municipal deputy. The suggestions expressed include options of a joint application to the court and prosecution, including for opening a criminal case, regarding the illegal actions, already revealed in the courts, of St. Petersburg’s government over adoption of major municipal laws. Besides, the opposition does not rule out it may organize a joint protest on August 21 – on the day of elections in the Petrovsky and Krasnenkaya Rechka districts.

Lawyer Elizaveta Napara, who has been representing interests of the opposition in Russian courts and in the European Court of Human Rights, believes that the governor’s opponents have big chances to expect Strasburg to agree that Matviyenko’s participation in the municipal elections is illegal, the newspaper writes. “The governor is being elected with the sole purpose to achieve the Federation Council, and at the same time her candidacy of the Federation Council’s speaker has been approved by the president,” Napara said. “This contradicts the notion of free will at municipal elections.”

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