Vladimir Churov presented the CEC information center "Elections 2012"

Vladimir Churov presented the CEC information center "Elections 2012"

The Russian Central Electoral Commission did not record significant deviations from the law during the presidential campaign of the Russian Federation, the head of the commission Vladimir Churov reported on March 3 at the presentation of the CEC information center "Elections 2012", RIA Novosti reports.

"The campaign for the presidential elections is being completed, it has been held in a relaxed atmosphere, and we have not received any complaints regarding the preparations for voting. All the complaints received are related to campaigning, the candidates complain about each other, but no one complained about access to the media. Everyone who wanted to speak in the media, succeeded, no one was denied. There are complaints about the unevenness in the coverage of certain events by informants. The complaints have been considered by the CEC, no serious deviations from the law were found," Churov says.

"We have received and are checking the information from the police, that one of the NGOs funded from abroad empowered its representatives in two regions of Siberia to buy absentee ballots. The information is being checked, investigations are being conducted, and all across the country 11 such cases have been revealed," the head of CEC reported.

According to him, the Central  Electoral Commission supervises the issuance of each absentee ballot and can check where it was used for voting.

"Some provocateurs, who buy licenses from citizens, cannot use them," the head of the CEC says.

He also recalled that this time internet video feeds will be transmitted from the polling stations.

"It's an experiment that Russia is posing for the first time, we cannot exclude that there may be technical problems" Churov says.

According to him, 685 international observers will come to the elections in Russia.

"Among these, 219 are (from) the OSCE ODIHR, 232 from the CIS, 44 parliamentarians from the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, 39 PACE parliamentarians, 9 from the OSCE, 19 from the SCO, 67 colleague-leaders and members of electoral bodies from more than 20 countries, and 56 experts from various organizations abroad. In total, 685 observers. To date, there has been no denial of accreditation [of international observers]," he adds.

According to Churov, early voting in Russia has been going on since February 17 and 100 thousand people have already made their choice.

For voters abroad, two million Russians are registered in embassies abroad, where 400 polling stations have been opened. "This is the largest number in the last 20 years," the head of the CEC says.

Churov emphasized that this time Canada allowed an increase in the number of polling places, while Estonia refused this request from Russia.

"Almost 6000 journalists will be covering  the elections, two thousand of whom will work in the press center; in Moscow alone approximately 800 foreign journalists have been accredited," he says.

Speaking about the center of the CEC "Elections 2012", Churov noted that "it is a truly independent clearinghouse for information."

Churov added that "informing the electorate in Russia is very good."

"We expect a high turnout, we have done our best for this," he says.

According to him, the CEC of Russia intends to announce preliminary results in the morning of March 5. However, they urged the media to
use only the official information of the CEC.

"There are a lot of messages about SMS polls, exit polls, but they do not have an official character. There is no need to put non-CEC analysts, or then you can get 146% ... Don't invent 146% and create your own counting system," the CEC head urges .

Today, five international observers - representatives of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cyprus - inspected the center.

The center is located in the Moscow State Law Academy named after Kutafin. Recognized experts in all fields of law, as well as graduate and undergraduate students of the leading scientific and educational centers of Russia, participate in its Its work.

International observers who have visited the situational center "Elections 2012", were satisfied with the system and expressed confidence that the presidential elections will take place without disturbances.

"We are confident that the entire electoral process will take place without any problems and I am sure we will note with a clear conscience that the elections are democratic, true, and pure," the member of parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dodik Sinica, said after examining independent situation center .

Sinica praised the system, noting how many young Russians volunteered to monitor the observation of democratic procedures in the presidential elections.

"We, too, have many young people who participate as observers and assist the election. When we saw the work of your system, we were once again assured that this is great and tomorrow we should roll up our sleeves and go as observers to our elections," the observer said.

Another international observer, the chairman of the Serbian Progressive Party, Tomislav Nikolic, said that it was the first time he had seen such an independent commission.  He expressed the wish to learn from this experience with their Russian colleagues.

He also said he was very pleased to see a large number of young people who work in the center "Elections 2012". "I would like to achieve the same for Serbia," Nikolic adds .

In response, the chairman of the situation center "Elections 2012", Dmitry Shumkov, promised to send a monitoring system for election results to his Serbian colleagues after the elections in Russia.

"We have agreed with my colleague that we can implement these systems and will send them to our colleagues as a gifts, so that voters in Europe can also monitor their elections and the elections would be fair and transparent," Shumkov says.

Shumkov demonstrated to the observers how the center is going to obtain information from regional electoral commissions and polling station commissions in real time during March 4.

One of the observers, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Serbia, Natasha Radulovic, herself filled in the protocol of the presidential elections, which is filled in by precinct electoral commissions (PECs) at the end of voting. An employee of the situation center photographed this protocol and demonstrated how information can be sent to the situation center with a smartphone. In less than two minutes the picture of the protocol was displayed on the plasma screen installed in the situation center.

As Shumkov explained, the international observers at the polling stations will also be able to send a photo of the PEC protocol to the situation center. All information on the voting results will be posted on the website of the situation center Tsentr2012.RF , where any voter can see copies of the minutes and other information on his or her polling station.

"Of course, we have limitations: we will be able to demonstrate these protocols after 9 pm, when the elections will end at the extreme point of the Russian Federation - in the Kaliningrad region," Shumkov says.

He also told international observers that in addition to photos of the protocol, the website will publish information on all regional electoral commissions: the number of voters, the number of registered observers who watched the procedure on the sites as well as statistics on complaints about violations, such as violation of the prohibition on agitating voters, attempts to bribe and pressure on voters.

Similar information can be found also about a PEC:  the website site visitors should find the needed TEC or PEC on the interactive map.

Complaints about violations can be sent the situation center by calling the "hot line" 8-800-333-02-81 or by electronically filling in the form on the site.

"In addition, our center received calls with complaints and suggestions for improving the electoral system. Since legal professionals work in our center, they respectively respond to calls. We analyze and systematize all calls, and later the elected president will receive proposals to improve the electoral system,"
the chairman of the situational center told observers and the media.

At the end of the demonstration of the system's operation Shumkov presented observer Radulovich with the test protocol she filled in.

We remind that the Russian presidential election will take place tomorrow, Sunday March 4.


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