Krasnodar, 3 September. Our today’s interviewee is Oleg Smirnov, Chairman of the Krasnodar City Election Commission.
Q.: What was the aim of or the reason for the changing the number of the Krasnodar City Duma deputies from 48 to 52?
A.: On the moment of approval of the election constituency map, the number of the voters registered in the city exceeded 692,000. By 1 July 2020, their number exceeded 802,000. With such a trend, it was justified to increase the number of the deputies to 52. Thereby the average representation per deputy’s seat will remain at the same level.
Q.: To have a person registered as a candidate for deputy, 90 to 120 signatures are needed. Isn’t it too little?
A.: Many candidates did not cope even with this amount. Say, 66 candidates had collected signatures with different violations which gave occasion to deny their registration. Twenty candidates had not presented signatures at all.
Q.: The registration gave quite a recognisable picture: United Russia, Communist Party, Liberal Democrats, Just Russia, and some little-known New People Party. Why were Yabloko and Civil Platform denied registration?
A.: During the campaign, thirteen political parties informed us of their wish to participate in the election – but following the party conferences and congresses, only ten parties took a decision to nominate their candidates. Eight parties advised the [Election] Commission documentarily about their nomination lists. As for the Civil Platform, Yabloko, and Party of Russian Small Business, they had not presented the required number of signatures and other registration documents by the deadline legally determined to present them. Thus, all parties that submitted the registration documents in time had their lists of candidates registered, and they do participate in the political fight.
Q.: Is there a trend to refuse from traditional printed campaigning in favour of the Internet and social networks?
A.: The share of materials spread through digital services is growing every year. I would not say that Internet campaigning is ousting its traditional forms, but I can say that if in 2015 only some individuals were campaigning via social networks, now practically all candidates are using this resource.
Q.: In your opinion, what will be the voter turnout this time?
A.: Apart from the City Duma, the townspeople will be voting for the regional governor on the same day, 13 September 2020. Traditionally, the higher is the level of election the more voters take part in it. The new voting opportunities will also play an important role in the heightened activity of the voters: those who will want to leave the city for the weekend will be able to vote on September 11 and 12. We expect the turnout to be substantially higher than 30%, usual for the city. I believe that the epidemiological situation would not affect the voters’ activity.
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