Friday, September 17, 2021

Russia Duma elections: Communist Party (CPRF) denounces law violations and censorship

Parliamentary and local elections began on Friday in Russia and will last three days. Voters are electing 450 MPs for the Duma (parliament) in Moscow and a number of cities have introduced electronic voting. 

President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party is expected to win despite the decline of popularity in the last few years. 

In a statement the International Department of the CC of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) denounces attacks on the party, law violations by the government and censorship by mass media. The full statement is the following:

Statement by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation

"Nowadays modern mass-media has completely lost its primary informational function being transformed  into an instrument of  propaganda very much effective  for control of public relations as well as for elimination of political competitors.

Practically 99% of the MSM in the Russian Federation, including so called “independent” ones, submit themselves to the authorities.

Increase of demands initiated by Roskomnadzor and appearance of new articles in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation have led to massive internal censorship of journalists and mass-media.

There is a list of so called prohibited “safe words”, including for example names of national or regional leading politicians which use is allowed only by approval of editor-in-chief or appropriate supervisor. It’s quite obvious that the  CPRF is number 1 on the list considering the result of the drawing of places in the ballot voting paper where the CPRF is at the top of the voting list.

So far, we are still getting a great scope of information from regions about an assistance rendered to the United Russia party by regional and municipal administrations in propagation with use of governmental and municipal  mass-media  and information resources as well as  assistance in holding meetings with voters.

Campaign coverage executed by Mass media is extremely uneven according to the data obtained from the monitoring organizations. Airtime for the “United Russia” activity given by the federal TV channels is greatly bigger  than of all other parties combined.

The latest data shows that the “United Russia” surpassed the aggregate indicators of all other parties by 1.7 times: “United Russia received 90.8 minutes, the “Liberal Democratic Party” - 16.9 minutes, “New People” - 12.7 minutes, the “Communist Party of the Russian Federation” - 10, 7 minutes, the “Just Russia - For the Truth” - 7 minutes, and the “Party of Pensioners” - 3.6 minutes only. All other parties were either not mentioned at all (“RPSS”, “Communists of Russia”) or were mentioned in total less than a minute for the whole week.

Federal media uses all means to denigrate the image of the CPRF and its members hyping the customized negative information from dubious sources, while positive information is deliberately distorted or ignored.

Dissatisfaction with a policy pursued   by the “Party in power’s” has increased the CPRF rating and resulted in another surge of black PR against the Left, who were accused of preparing a new “Maidan”. We are here talking about the authorized (!) meeting of Moscow CPRF candidates for State Duma, headed by Gennady Zyuganov with the voters on Tverskaya street on August 26.

Continuous attacks on some popular CPRF candidates, namely Pavel Grudinin, a serious opponent to the government with his almost 9 million votes in the last presidential elections, led to his exclusion from the Party electoral list. Attempts to challenge the Central Electoral Commission’s decision through the courts are deliberately delayed.

Nevertheless the CPRF continues fighting against injustice and lawlessness. Under the same pretext Secretaries of the CPRF CC S. Obukhov and V.Solovyov, were deprived from the right to participate in the last elections. The former General Prosecutor Skuratov was excluded from the Party list in Buryatia, because of the omission of the word “Professor” in applying documents. He appealed   to the ECHR, which ruled in his favor.

Irkutsk Governor Sergey Levchenko  has doubled the budget in four years from 96 to 213 billion rubles. He reduced illegal logging, forced the local oligarch Deripaska to pay taxes in full scope, and supported public enterprises. The efficiency of regional economy has resulted in his resignation and imprisonment of his son, after demonstration of 150 negative TV spots about him were shown on TV. Still no investigation is on the way.

Valery Bykov, CPRF candidate from Kamchatka was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment on a fabricated case and released only half a year later.

The duplicate candidates, namesakes, are nominated against the CPRF with the only goal to confuse the voters. For the same purpose several small so-called communist parties have been fabricated.

All  the CPRF complaints about violations of the law remain unanswered.

All of the above mentioned “tricks” finally discredit both the electoral system as well as the government.

CPRF CC International Department"