D’Artagnan and his friends praised Russian elections
On September 8, at the invitation of Russian human rights associations in the Russian regions, experts from Netherlands, France, Sweden, Serbia, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy and the United States observed the elections. They visited several subjects of the federation, where elections were held, and told about their impressions yesterday.
Prior to meeting the observers with reporters, chairman of the board of the Russian Public Institute of Electoral Law, co-chair of the HRC Monitoring Working Group, Igor Borisov, recalled that before voting day in all 85 constituent subjects of the Russian Federation, about 6,000 election campaigns of various levels were held: “About 47,000 mandates were replaced, 50 referendums of local importance were held in 7 constituent subjects of the Russian Federation. By tradition, almost all elections to government bodies in the Russian Federation are attended either by foreign observers, including international organizations such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe, PACE, or experts, representatives of foreign public organizations, that help us interact and exchange electoral experience. Elections were held openly. Commissions did not hide any procedures and provided maximum information."
Igor Borisov noted that experts from European countries visited polling stations and got acquainted with the course and organization of voting process in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vologda, Lipetsk and Tula regions. He said that the main goal of the international experts, in addition to sharing positive electoral experience, is to promote, develop and further improve international electoral standards, which are currently being tested. “We're talking about uncontrolled foreign interference in national elections: from financing political institutions outside of our state and support of relevant individual projects, to powerful misinformation in neighboring states. We discussed this problem - our guests acknowledge the existence of such problem and demand its resolution. The problem of fake news flow was highlighted, and it received second life with the development of communication technologies that know no boundaries or any legislative restrictions."
Honorary Senator of the French Republic, chairman of the Musketeers' Society Armagnac Ameri de Montesquieu d’Artagnan admitted that he had only three years of experience as an observer expert, but had extensive political experience with the Council of State since 1986. “Each country has its own requirements and its own election procedures. Evaluating correctness, accuracy and legality of the voting procedures of particular country is possible only in accordance with its legislative restrictions. Today there is a striking desire to modernize the voting system. In France, voters and society have doubts about electronic voting, voting on the internet, because there is fear that one of the principles of voting will be violated - the principle of anonymity. If voting is conducted using modern technology, then there is possibility of substituting results or violating anonymity. However, Russia showed us reliability of the system and showed that the rights of a citizen are protected," d’Artagnan said.
According to him, one of the key issues today is the issue of turnout: "People don't come to vote for a variety of reasons, so ensuring bigger turnout is one of the most important tasks that we must pay attention to."
Observer also noted that "in France, a lot of attention is being paid to the role of women in election process, and when it comes to elections in Russia, to my pleasure, I saw that most of the people who worked at polling stations were women."