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SPS 5,11 %

Against All 5,26 %

So we see that according to Ramir data and the communists calculations both Yavlinskys party and the Union of Right Forces have reached the 5% barrier and made it into the State Duma. On November 11th 2003 the Vedomosti newspaper wrote: The CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov has accused the Central Electoral Commission of manipulating the results of Dumas election, which harmed the SPS and Yabloko. // According to the communists the CPRF was not much harmed by the manipulation, but the SPS and Yabloko had in reality obtained correspondingly 5. 1% and 5. 9%. The block Rodina has lost votes as well officially it obtained 9% but the communists calculated that it was 10. 6%. The distortions, as the communists calculated it, favored United Russia it must have obtained not 37.1% of the votes but 33.1%. We cant admit the results of a voting that was a one hundred percent fraud, Zyuganov declared.

The same day the Kommersant wrote: The usually reserved CEC head Alexander Veshnyakov has yelled yesterday: Tthis isnt serious, its a swindle! This is how the head arbiter of Dumas battles reacted to the declaration of the CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov about the 3,5 million votes added to United Russia fraudulently according to the communists alternative counting. // We are ready for cooperation, but not for swindling! The usually reserved and politically correct Veshnyakov started to yell yesterday on a CEC session: We will harshly punish both for manipulation and for slander! And we will not turn the right cheek if were hit on the left. Then Kommersant continues: Gennady Zyuganov declared that already based on the records of the electoral commissions (it is their copies that the CPRF reads) we studied we can make the conclusion that at least 3,5 million ballot-papers were fraudulently added. These nonexistent votes were thrown in favor of one of the parties. Considering that according to the yet unofficial data of the CEC (the official data will be available December 18th) slightly over 57 million people took part in the elections, a manipulation with 3,5 million ballot-papers is something very serious. These are 6. 1% of votes that not only have allowed improving the total result of the party in power, but also did not allow the right-wing parties to make it into the Duma, washing down their real result. Besides adding votes the CPRF leader has accused the CEC of overstating the real data about voters participation. The voters participation was not 56%, as the CEC said, but 53,5%, Zyuganov declared. He expressed his assurance that in reality both Yabloko and SPS have overcome the 5% barrier and made it into the Duma. We cant admit the results of a voting that was a one hundred percent fraud. We request that the ballot-papers be recounted by hand, Zyuganov said. Also he emphasized that in a zone of total manipulation they categorically refuse to give us the copies of the records. And this zone is not only Tatarstan, Mordovia and Bashkiria but Moscow as well.

In her turn Irina Khakamada declared to Kommersant: According to our data, since we also have a parallel voting count, there was, in fact, a fraudulent addition of ballot-papers on the elections and when such things happen, then purely automatically the indicators of the parties situated on the margin of the 5% barrier decrease. And here is the opinion of David Atkinson, head of the delegation of the Council of Europes Parliamentary Assembly on the Russian elections, as expressed to Nezavisimaya Gazeta: On one hand, four years ago we recommended to Russia to take a series of measures in order to improve the voting and Russia has followed our advices. On the other hand we cant ignore the deliberate distortion of Russias real political picture by TV channels controlled by the State in favor of a single party at the expense of all the others as during the pre-electoral campaign, as long before it. The deliberate lack of objectivity from the State and semi-State media is unacceptable for the Council of Europe. Therefore we came to the following conclusion: although these elections were free, they were unfair and the Russian advancement towards democracy has significantly slowed down. Based on this we insistently urge Russia to create and strengthen an independent media system, first of all, a system of television and radio broadcasting totally free of any influence and control from the State.

On 17.12.03 the site Strana.ru published an article by Olga Bobrovskaya. Among other things the journalist writes: Vadim Solovyev, member of the Central Election Committee with deliberative functions from the CPRF declared that 60 thousand records among those obtained by his partys members directly in the regional election committees dont correspond to the CEC official records, which were entered into the counting system and published on the Internet. The communists have worked with 87 643 records, which makes up 93,1% of their total quantity. According to Solovyev about 60 thousand records are invalid, since the number of votes for different parties and for Against All does not correspond to the number of ballot-papers given out for the voting. // After collecting all the evidence of manipulation, the CPRF leadership headed by Gennady Zyuganov sent a letter to the CEC, in which it declared that it was necessary to hold a complete recounting of ballot-papers in Bashkortostan, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Mordovia, Tatarstan and the regions of Amur, Orlov, Rostov, Samara and Saratov and not to publish the final election results until the completion of the above-mentioned recounting. Otherwise the Communist Party would undertake all the measures stipulated by the Constitution for the protection of the citizens electoral rights, including mass protest actions and an appeal to international courts. Which means the Supreme Court and then the European Court of Human Rights.

However only on September 27th 2004 did the Communist Party together with the Yabloko party with S. V. Ivanenko (from Yabloko), E. A. Kiselev (famous liberal journalist), D. A. Muratov, V. A. Rizhkov (independent State Duma deputy), G. A. Satarov (liberal, president of the Indem Fund), V. G. Solovyev (KPRF) and I. M. Khakamada (SPS) address the RF Supreme Court. They demanded the cancellation of the Central Electoral Commissions enactment of December 19th 2003 Number 71/615-4 About the establishment of the total results of the elections of the State Duma deputies.

All the declarations, independently from their political views were united by the fact that they consider that their rights and freedoms were violated during the elections. Thus, the Yabloko party affirms, at least 170 from the 225 electoral commissions records do not correspond to reality. The declaration also spoke about the injustice and unbalance of the information provided about the participants of the election campaign. Thus, the monitoring of TV programs on the results of the electoral campaign showed that almost a third of the total time dedicated to political parties and electoral blocks during the campaign was used by TV channels to inform the voters about a single party United Russia. The counting of the time distribution in news stories during the campaign showed that United Russia got about 28% of the total time, KPRF 13% and Yabloko 8,5%. The injustice and unbalance in informing the voters were especially obvious on State channels (First Channel, VGTRK Russia and TVC), which are financed by the taxpayers and should not give the priority to any political party. These channels were even more obviously favoring United Russia, giving it an average of 40% of the time, despite the fact that 23 electoral associations took part in the elections. This situation was worsened by the fact that in Russia national State channels have the largest scope of broadcasting territory (the First Channel 99%, VGTRK Russia 97,4% and TVC over 70% of the countrys territory).

Not only the time but also the trend of the information was unjust and unbalanced. The total amount of information made public by the main TV channels about United Russia was equal to 860 minutes and 48 seconds. And the amount of information that was illegal pre-electoral publicity was equal to 529 minutes and 09 seconds, or 61,5%. It was the State channels that broadcasted 75% of positive information about United Russia. At the same time over half (331 minutes and 22 seconds or 66%) of the total amount of information broadcasted about the CPRF by the five leading TV channels (524 minutes and 54 seconds) consisted of negative publicity. Even these numbers are enough to affirm that the victory of United Russia was obtained not only at the price of direct manipulation, but was also prepared by the media by presenting dishonest and unjust information.

In their address to the Supreme Court the plaintiffs have also said that many RF courts have many times violated the right to defend ones electoral rights in court. As a rule, plaints about laws violations by electoral commissions, media and individuals are not answered; there were many cases of refusals to open criminal cases about these violations.

The Supreme Court examination of this declaration began on November 15th and ended on December 16th 2004. During this time 19 court sessions were held. The court refused almost every petition of the plaintiffs: about calling over one hundred witnesses to court, about adding two hundred documents to the case, about requesting evidence from the CEC, the Ministry of Press and other State bodies and channels. Besides the Supreme Court did not examine more than 1% of the evidence presented by the plaintiffs during the court sessions. The Supreme Court has also simply refused to examine the question about the manipulation of elections on 57 thousand electoral districts, supposedly because this question is not in the Supreme Courts jurisdiction, directly ignoring part 4 of article 75 of the Federal Law About the principal guaranties of electoral rights and the rights for RF citizens to take part in a referendum.

During the trial the lawyers have petitioned four times (on November 16th and 29th and two times on December 6th) to challenge the judge V. U. Zaytzev for several reasons, among them:

He refused to satisfy numerous petitions about examining evidence and calling witnesses;

He did not read out some written documents accordingly to their real content;

And some other judicial reasons.

All of these reasons were single-handedly turned-down by the judge V. U. Zaytzev.

On December 16th 2004 the Supreme Court took a decision, in which he refused to satisfy the declaration of the plaintiffs.

On December 18th 2005 the declarators appealed.

On February 7th 2005 the appeal board of the Supreme Court left the decision unchanged.

On August 4th 2005 the parties KPRF and Yabloko and also the individuals named above addressed a plaint to the European Court of Human rights about the decision of the Supreme Court, which refused to satisfy their suit to the CEC about the cancellation of the parliamentary elections of December 7th 2003.

I remind that manipulation the elections is a crime directed against the very bases of any modern society. Since the appointment by elections of the popular representatives in the Parliament is a ground, on which the entire system is based, I repeat, of any society (whether it is Western, Indian, Pakistani and others). I will also remind that the so-called Orange revolution in Ukraine was a reaction of the Ukrainian society to the manipulated results of the presidential elections in Ukraine. It is unfortunate that the Russian opposition did not have the forces and skills to react on the manipulation of the December 2003 elections as fast and as confidently as the Ukrainian opposition did. They should have addressed the court immediately and the suit itself should have been reinforced by street manifestations of the opposition forces. By delaying the bringing of charges until next years fall the Russian opposition allowed the tension of the passions caused by the indignation with the manipulation fading away.