Residents of the Moscow region did not subscribe to the fifth candidate
The Central Election Commission (CEC) on Thursday dismissed the complaint of Moscow region deputy Boris Nadezhdin about the refusal to register as a candidate for governor of the Moscow region.
He complained that the remaining four candidates received far more signatures than they needed to get through the municipal filter, and this ruled out the possibility of nominating anyone else. But the Central Election Commission did not deal with “allegations of violations of the electoral law.” Now the deputy hopes for a court, including the Constitutional one, which previously indicated that a candidate for governor has no right to collect more signatures than required by law.
At a meeting on July 20, the CEC recognized as justified the refusal of the Moscow Regional Election Commission to register Boris Nadezhdin, a deputy of the Dolgoprudny Council of Deputies, as a candidate for the election of the governor of the Moscow region. Five people were nominated for this post, but only four managed to overcome the so-called municipal filter, that is, to collect the necessary number of signatures of municipal deputies in their support: this is the current governor Andrei Vorobyov (United Russia), as well as deputies of the Moscow Regional Duma Kirill Zhigarev (LDPR). ), Alexander Naumov (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) and Anatoly Nikitin (“A Just Russia – For the Truth”).
Boris Nadezhdin (nominated by the Civil Initiative party) was able to collect only 7 of the 90 required signatures. At the same time, the deputy claims, he became a victim of an abuse of the right: an organized collection of signatures was carried out for four “systemic” candidates in such a quantity that it was impossible for anyone else to collect the required number. The law of the Moscow region allows a municipal deputy to support only one candidate for governor and does not allow him to withdraw his signature.
As Mr. Nadezhdin said in his complaint, he sent requests to all 55 local councils and found that there were practically no “free” autographs left.
At the same time, the signatures of many hundreds of deputies were collected and certified by notaries for the governor, which clearly exceeds the number required for registration, the deputy claims.
Meanwhile, back in 2012, the Constitutional Court (CC) declared that it was inadmissible to create artificial obstacles to the nomination of other candidates by collecting signatures in excess of the number required for registration of a candidate by more than 5% (for the Moscow region, this is 94 signatures), reminds Boris Nadezhdin. Therefore, he asked the CEC to ask notaries for data on the number of deputies who signed their autographs, and “as an exception” to register him as a candidate – even with an insufficient number of signatures. “In the current situation, this will only increase the legitimacy of the elections,” the deputy argued in his complaint.
However, the CEC decided that it was not within its competence to collect information on the number of signatures submitted by municipalities, “there are other bodies for this,” explained CEC chairperson Ella Pamfilova. The commission also did not consider it possible to cancel the decision of the regional election commission. As CEC member Yevgeny Shevchenko reminded the audience, there were three separate grounds for refusing registration: an insufficient number of signatures, failure to notify the electoral commission of a conference to nominate a candidate, and failure to notify the Ministry of Justice of this conference. The arguments set out in the complaint, in fact, boil down to the applicant’s disagreement with the procedure established by law for supporting the nomination of a candidate, as well as to assumptions about violations of the electoral law, the CEC decree says.
However, Boris Nadezhdin himself admitted that the electoral commission had no grounds for his registration, and he acted in accordance with the law.
“In fact, I am appealing against the administrative resource and I don’t see where else it could be appealed,” he told Kommersant. But now, the politician believes, he has a direct road to the Supreme Court, and then, if necessary, to the Constitutional Court. And he hopes that now at least the court will take evidence from notaries. At a meeting of the working group of the CEC, its member, ex-judge of the Constitutional Court Boris Ebzeev, directly said: “You have come to the wrong place, you need to go to the Constitutional Court,” said Mr. Nadezhdin. According to him, he will seek to recognize unconstitutional, first of all, the electoral legislation of the Moscow Region – to the extent that it prohibits deputies from submitting more than one signature in support of a particular candidate. There is no direct ban in the federal law, the politician recalls (it only says that if one municipality signs for several candidates, the earliest autograph is counted), but it does not prevent regions from introducing such a restriction.
The municipal filter itself has already become the subject of consideration by the Constitutional Court: in 2012, the court checked the relevant norms at the request of deputies from A Just Russia and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Then the Constitutional Court recognized that the federal authorities have the right to introduce special conditions that make it possible to exclude from the electoral process participants who do not have sufficient support from voters, and in this case, this role is played by the municipal filter. However, a candidate is not entitled to collect more signatures from municipalities than required by law, so as not to encroach on the possibility of nominating another candidate, the Constitutional Court added.
Electoral lawyer Aleksey Rybin notes that the more narrowly the question is posed, the more chances the applicant has to be heard in the Constitutional Court, and from this point of view, raising the issue of banning Moscow Region deputies from signing more than once is quite justified. Moreover, the design of the municipal filter itself leaves a fairly large number of questions, the expert notes: why, for example, a candidate for governor should “catch” these deputies and find out if they have already signed and when. At the same time, it is unlikely that the municipal filter will be canceled by itself, warns hzikhidtidekrt lawyer.