Russian voters can contest poll results in court

St Petersburg, April 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s Constitutional Court has confirmed voters’ rights to contest election results in court.

The court has been reviewing the Civil Procedure Code as well as federal laws on voting right guarantees and on the State Duma elections to confirm their constitutionality.

The Duma’s representative at the Constitutional Court, Dmitry Vyatkin, said earlier a voter could only contest an action if it is “directly related to exercising the right to vote”.

A voter could for example complain about the inaccessibility of a polling station or the lack of an opportunity to vote at home.

The court stated that the clauses being contested do not contain a direct ban on contesting election results.

“A voter’s right to control the counting of the votes is not formally recognised. Therefore, the court can reject suits related to this, and thus, the clauses in question are in conflict with the Constitution,” the court said in a statement.

The Constitutional Court ruled lawmakers should amend the procedure for contesting the actions of the election commissions which summarise the voting results.

Furthermore, until the changes are made, the courts are required to accept voters’ lawsuits to protect any rights violated by mala fide vote counting and summarizing election results at their polling station.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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