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Addendum to the Applicants’ Memorandum
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
F - 67075 Strasbourg-Cedex
to the Applicants’ Memorandum dated January 13, 2015 in respect of Application ¹ 75947/11
The Applicants hereby submit to the Court the present Addendum to the Applicants’ Memorandum dated January 13, 2015 in connection with the Applicants having received the Memorandum of the Government in the English language in the middle of January 2015 for reasons beyond the Applicants’ control.
I. Having analyzed the Government’s Memorandum the Applicants found the following discrepancies in respect of the meaning of the Memorandum:
• In the following articles in the English text of the Memorandum a number of sentences which in the opinion of the Government bear significant evidential importance are in italics: 7,18,21, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 36, 37, 43, 48, 63, 64, 72, 73, 86, 99, 127, 128, 130, 136, 142, 143, 146, 150, 151, 155, 160, 164, 166, 167, 170, 182, 195, 196, 206, 213, 214, 220, 228, 229, 235, 243, 244, 261, 264,285, 286, 289, 291, 300, 302, 317, 323. The Applicants see no other reason to alter the original layout of the text than to provide the information with another extent of intensification;
• In art. 217 of the Memorandum in the Russian version there is an indication of the decision in respect of jurisdiction ¹18997191 - it is not included in the English version. The reasons for shortening of the original text by the translator are unclear to the Applicants;
• Despite the fact that the Government was provided with additional time to prepare the Memorandum, the document has discrepancies in footnotes: in art. 271 in the Russian version the footnote is ¹5, while in the English version it is footnote ¹9, footnote ¹6 in the Russian version turned into footnote ¹11 in the English version (art. 278 of the Memorandum), numbering of footnotes in art. ¹297, 307, 309, 311 went astray as well;
• In art. 319 of the Memorandum in the English version there is an extra phrase that the Parties are invited to comment on the issue.
The Applicants consider that the abovementioned issues: first, demonstrate the carelessness of the Government in preparation of so important a document as the Memorandum; second, the desire of the Government to supplement the version of the document already submitted to the Court after expiration of the term. Considering that the term for submitting the English version of the Memorandum was provided by the Court as an exceptional (appendant and extraordinary) right, to abuse this right by way of supplementing the originally unprepared document seems inadmissible.
II. The memorandum being a multipage document which contains the answers of the Applicants to the questions posed by the Court and evaluation of the Government’s position, the Applicants find it necessary to provide the Court with a short summary of the main ideas contained in the document.
1. The first group of the Court’s questions is dedicated to the procedure of consideration of the Applicants’ complaints. The Court asks whether the Applicants had effective domestic remedies the alleged violation of which was the grounds for the Application.
Pages 1 to 31 contain a detailed and comprehensive analysis of all remedies the Applicants resorted to.
All judicial bodies which were to give their due estimate to numerous violations of the electoral legislation failed to do it. Dozens of witnesses in the course of questioning in hearings confirmed the fact of fraud, yet the courts were unwilling to consider those circumstances.
Numerous complaints filed by the Applicants to electoral commissions, law enforcement and judicial bodies, except for the Constitutional Court, allow the Applicants to conclude that in the Russian Federation in practice the right of the Applicants guaranteed by art.3 Protocol 1 to the Convention is not protected in any way. The Russian Constitutional Court found that at the moment of the parliamentary election in the legislation there was no prescribed procedure of protection of electoral rights and obliged the lawmakers to provide for the respective procedure. However, as the Applicants are unable to initiate the proceedings in respect of the fact of falsification the abovementioned Ruling of the Constitutional Court did not give the Applicants the real means of protection (see in detail in section 2.4. of the Application). The Applicants consider it necessary to describe in such detail the whole procedure of their filing complaints to all possible authorities to demonstrate to the Court the lack of result and prospects, and to make a general conclusion about their ineffectiveness (art. 160).
2. For a vivid demonstration of the procedure and results of the recount of votes the Applicants invite the Court’s attention to the tables (Appendix 73), which clearly show the general tendency in the recount towards the increase in the number of votes cast for the “Edinaya Rossiya” political party. Coloured diagrams are provided for clearness of the large amount of information (Diagrams ¹ 1 - ¹ 4), while detailed schemes help understand the smallest details of the fraud mechanism (Tables ¹ 1-¹ 4).
3. The Applicants’ answers to the Court’s questions No.7 and 8 are to show to the Court which protocols of electoral commissions are genuine and which are falsified. The Government states that the protocols of the so-called recount of votes are genuine, while dozens of protocols from numerous electoral districts are said to be unauthentic and contain serious violations, as it is indicated in the tables provided by the Government.
In fact, the real and authentic are the protocols submitted by the Applicants. Those protocols were drawn up in the absolute transparency and under public control Those were officially obtained by the Applicants - the observers, members of commissions and candidates for deputies - and bear authentic signatures of the members of the commissions and stamps of the commissions. Those protocols were provided in accordance with the Law upon the Applicants’ request after the final count of votes.
Thus, the protocols which were given out to the observers and other persons controlling the electoral process complied with the requirements of authenticity. The grounds for the recount were unsubstantiated, which is described in detail in the answer to the Court’s question No.7 When condemned with the falsification, the heads of the DECs used all sorts of excuses, including the most scandalous: fatigue, stress, psychological pressure, and one of the chairs unable to give a well-grounded explanation to the sudden discrepancies simply said she was inadequate.
The Government suggests that the Court should believe that all original protocols contested by it which were drawn up in the presence of hundreds of people contained mistakes. It is difficult to imagine that all district commissions in such large amount of stations simultaneously made so many mistakes that the recount was necessary. To prove the scale of the recount we can take the result of voting to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation for 22 territories of St.Petersburg, where the results in the final protocols were recounted for 29 out of 34 electoral districts (more than 85 %), and in all cases the “Edinaya Rossiya” political party obtained about another 200 votes, and in some cases even more – for example, at district ¹ 723 440 votes were added. Moreover, deficiencies of the protocols submitted by the Applicants which are pointed to by the Government in their tables, even upon a closer view seem trifling, made by electoral commissions and not the Applicants, and they do not prevent from establishing the result of voting. At this for the districts of the Second, Third and Fourth Applicants (O.O.Andronova, A.V.Andronov, T.A.Nikolayeva), where the latter acted as members of the DEC, the Government does not provide any specific information or ANY deficiencies.
The so-called recount which was so large-scale and well coordinated and conducted with the violation of transparency principle (in the absence of members of commissions and observers) is in itself illegal in the meaning of the Convention, even if the corresponding standards exist in the national legislation, in this case art. 69 §9 of Law N 67-FZ as of June 12, 2002 “On the Basic Guarantees of the Electoral Rights and the Right to Participate in the Referendum of Citizens of the Russian Federation”.
Art. 69§2 of the same Law guarantees the transparency of the electoral process as a whole and the count of votes in particular by way of the right of observers to be present at all times at all electoral stages, the most important of which are voting and count. It was impossible to scrap these requirements in the course of the recount. Yet the information given by the Applicants in their answer to the Court’s question No7 demonstrates lack of openness and transparency in the course of the so-called recount. On these grounds the Applicants object to any attempts to justify introduction of any amendments into protocols of electoral commissions in the atmosphere of secretiveness and non-transparency, and behind closed doors.
4. The Government failed to answer a number of questions at all:
- when the recount was conducted;
- if the changes made into the protocols were always in favour of the “Edinaya Rossiya” political party, etc. The documents asked by the Court were not submitted under the pretext of their availability on the Internet, and an inadmissible reference to impossibility of forwarding the first copies of documents to the Court, which is, “to any organizations other than in the order stipulated by the law” (quoted from the Government’s Memorandum). The Applicants consider the above circumstance shall be considered as a violation of art.38 of the Convention on mandatory cooperation with the Court in the cases considered.
5. Further in their Memorandum the Applicants briefly described the arguments of the Government used to recognize the Application as inadmissible and demonstrated they lack a reasonable basis.
The Conclusion of the analysis conducted by the Applicants
The right guaranteed by art. 3 Protocol 1 to the Convention was fundamentally violated. In fact, a most large-scale electoral fraud in St.Petersburg was justified. In practice it turned out that the abovementioned right is not protected in any way. There are two main reasons for this.
1. First. Both electoral commissions and law enforcement and judicial bodies actively detain from consideration of matters connected with violations in the electoral process. Law enforcement agencies use any pretext not to open a criminal case in respect of such offences in the sphere of electoral rights, the courts are unwilling to consider complaints on the merits under part 26 of the Russian CCP, which provides for protection of constitutional rights, and electoral commissions simply forward complaints to other instance agencies. If a higher instance makes them consider the complaints on the merits, they always refuse to recognize any violations in all cases. Considering huge experience the Applicants got in this case one may talk of a coordinated position of all state authorities, including judiciary and law enforcement, not to recognize violations even in cases when these violations are clearly demonstrated by the Applicants. The systematic, endemic and coordinated nature of this phenomenon evidences lack of independence of those authorities, including judiciary, and in case of lack of independence of courts it is impossible to count on restoration of the violated electoral rights.
2. Second. Common democratic mechanisms created in the state are ineffective, which displays the following vice in the political system, including the system of organization of election in the country - electoral commissions, from the lowest level to the central one, are unaccountable to the public, there exist problems and deficiencies in formation of these authorities. Nevertheless, the institution of observers and members of electoral commissions with consultative vote is a major instrument of public control over the activity of electoral commissions and provides for transparency of voting, trustworthiness of its result and fairness of election in general. The abovementioned institution - quite effective in itself - helped display the violations, abuse and manipulation in respect of the votes cast by the people. To change the result of the election conducted under surveillance of hundreds and thousands of observers required falsification of the protocols already issued and given out to observers, unprecedented in its impudence and impertinence. Dozens and hundreds of electoral districts agreed to those changes, and heads of the DECs fell away to pretexts such as fatigue and confessions of having issued and signed allegedly unprepared protocols only to justify significant – in the amount of hundreds of votes – falsification in favour of the “Edinaya Rossiya” political party. Those actions were coordinated, comprehensive, simultaneous, represent the same trend and show uniformity of directions received from beneficiaries of such falsifications. Its scale and the common behavior of all DECs display an elaborate technology of falsification of voting results.
III. In respect of peaceful settlement of the matter – by claimants DOES NOT PUBLISHED at any place.
Applicants’ Attorney-in Fact