The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Russia is poised to deliberate on a groundbreaking draft resolution this Friday that could potentially extend the voting period for the presidential elections to span over three days. This announcement was made by Ella Pamfilova, the CEC's chairperson, underscoring the commission's intent to boost voter turnout and cater to the convenience of the electorate.
From Single-day to Multi-day Voting
The impending proposal marks a significant departure from the conventional single-day election framework. The objective behind this shift is to afford voters increased flexibility and to cater to those grappling with hectic schedules or other obligations that might hinder them from casting their votes on a single designated day.
Implications of the Potential Change
If the commission greenlights the resolution, it could herald a noteworthy alteration in the electoral process, possibly impacting the dynamics of voter participation and the administrative aspects of conducting presidential elections in Russia. This move comes at a critical juncture when Russian lawmakers are anticipated to vote on a proposal to conduct the presidential election on March 17, with President Vladimir Putin expected to seek and clinch a new six-year term.
Pending Court Rulings and Election Dynamics
Meanwhile, a Moscow court has ruled to keep Grigory Melkonyants, the co-chairman of the non-governmental Golos group, in prison until mid-April next year. The Golos group, which the justice ministry has labeled as a 'foreign agent', has previously alleged widespread ballot fraud. Melkonyants, who was arrested before the regional elections in August, has been charged with collaborating with an 'undesirable organisation', a claim he refutes. His detention until after the elections could impact the transparency and credibility of the electoral process.
Simultaneously, Russian businessman Alexei Nechaev, who founded the New People party and secured 15 seats in the 450-seat lower house of parliament, is expected to compete as Putin's 'liberal' rival in the 2024 presidential race.
As the draft resolution awaits the CEC's verdict and the electoral landscape in Russia gradually takes shape, the world watches with bated breath, eager to witness the potential transformations in one of the globe's most powerful nations.