Russia Adopts Controversial Electronic Voting Nationwide, Bans Navalny From Presiding

Russian lawmakers have extended the country’s controversial online voting system must be used in all national elections ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s scheduled re-election in 2024 and bans figures like jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny from the presidency.

Seven Russian regions voted online in last year’s parliamentary elections, with the results interrogates by the opposition after their early advances in offline voting were wiped out by electronic voting in Moscow. Even before the gradual shift to online voting, critics said the system would make it easier for authorities to tamper with results.

On Friday, Russia’s lower house of parliament said it passed amendments adopting the countrywide electronic remote voting system.

“Citizens will be able to vote via the Internet or using a special mobile application,” the State Duma said.

The same legislation also bans those affiliated with “extremist” organizations – an apparent reference to Navalny – from the presidency and introduces a so-called “foreign agents” register.

“The right to be elected president is denied to citizens involved in the activities of an extremist or terrorist organization, if there is a court decision,” the Duma said in a statement.

A Moscow court banned Navalny’s political and activist network as “extremist” last summer as part of a broader crackdown on dissent.

The bill passed by the Duma prohibits leaders of “extremist” groups from becoming president for five years after the court ruling.

In addition, recently passed legislation mandates the Russian Ministry of Justice to maintain a register of “foreign agents” and their affiliates.

Candidates associated with foreign agents will be required to visibly mark their campaign and other materials.

To become law, the online voting bill must win a majority in Russia’s upper house of parliament and get Putin’s signature.

Putin, 69, who launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine more than two weeks ago, said he has yet to decide whether to run for office in 2024.

Russians were allowed to vote online in a national vote for Putin’s constitutional amendments in 2020, officially granting him the right to stay in power until 2036 and become Russia’s longest-serving ruler since Peter the Great.

Russia news

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button