Search

 

Cablegate: Election Commission Seems Unlikely to Greenlight

VZCZCXRO1388
RR RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #0189/01 0251612
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251612Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6278
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 000189

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINR RS
SUBJECT: ELECTION COMMISSION SEEMS UNLIKELY TO GREENLIGHT
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE KASYANOV

1. (SBU) Summary: Ex-Prime Minister Kasyanov's uphill battle
to be registered as a contender in the March 2 presidential
elections, seemed unlikely to succeed January 25 with the
Central Election Commission (CEC) contending that 13 percent
of the required two million signatures submitted were
invalid, and Kasyanov's team insisting that many of the
CEC-detected discrepancies have to do with the formatting of
the signature lists presented and not with the signatures
themselves. Kasyanov himself continued to insist that the
decision to register his candidacy was political, not
technical, and would be made at the highest levels in the
Kremlin. Whatever the outcome, Putin nominee Dmitriy
Medvedev remains positioned to easily best his three or four
opponents in the election's first round. End summary.

List Discrepancies
------------------

2. (SBU) Ex-premier Mikhail Kasyanov's presidential candidacy
remained in doubt January 25, as the Central Election
Commission (CEC) continued to maintain that an examination of
the two million plus signatures necessary for a non-party
candidate to qualify had revealed that up to thirteen percent
of them were invalid. (The law permits no more that a five
percent invalidity rate.) Kasyanov's team has contested many
of the judgments about the signatures made by the CEC.
Kasyanov aide Oleg Burmistrev told us January 25 that in fact
only 200 of the signatures examined by the Committee had been
found to be invalid. The other discrepancies discovered and
used by the CEC to reach its preliminary conclusion that
Kasyanov could not be registered were of a "technical"
nature. The CEC, for example, had invalidated whole pages
because the signature of the person collecting the signatures
and the page date were written by different persons, or words
like "district" were abbreviated on the petition; something
that the CEC contended was not permitted.

Legal Action
------------

3. (SBU) Kasyanov has filed objections to many of the CEC's
rulings which, according to CEC Secretary Nikolay Konkin,
were under consideration and would be considered at its late
afternoon session on January 25. Kasyanov's Russian National
Democratic Union is pressing its leader's case in the courts
as well as with the CEC. Kasyanov's official campaign
representative Mark Feygin has initiated legal proceedings
against the CEC, accusing it of having ignored its legal
responsibility to inform voters of the campaign and it
potential candidates. The court seems unlikely to support
Feygin's contention.

4. (SBU) The CEC for its part has suggested that Kasyanov
could find himself in court on the receiving end. The
prosecutors' offices in Mariy El and Yaroslavl region have
opened criminal cases alleging the falsification of
signatures. Kasyanov's Mariy El campaign director Rustam
Abdullin was arrested, but immediately released on his own
recognizance after a criminal investigation was opened into
his involvement in collecting allegedly false signatures.
CEC member Siyapshakh Shapiyev has suggested that the
Prosecutors' offices could make Kasyanov their target in
those cases.

Harassment History
------------------

5. (SBU) Kasyanov's long-running campaign has been the target
of on-again, off-again harassment from pro-Kremlin youth
groups like "Nashi," who at times have trailed the ex-premier
as he has traveled the regions in search of votes and money.
Calls from on high have occasionally caused landlords in the
regions to renege on agreements to rent Kasyanov meeting
space. In the initial period immediately following the
December 2 Duma elections, Kasyanov's aides told us that the
harassment significantly lessened, causing them to conjecture
that Kasyanov may have been given a greenlight to collect the
requisite two million signatures and campaign. The detention
of Abdullin and the CEC's formalistic approach to his
signature petitions suggest that they may be mistaken.

6. (SBU) The CEC is to make its formal ruling on Kasyanov's
candidacy on January 27. Kasyanov and his aides insist that
in the end the decision will be political, and will be made
at the highest levels of the Kremlin. Burmistrev told us
January 25 that he had heard from a CEC contact that the
Commission has prepared two decision, positive and negative,
and would announce one of them January 27.

Long Odds

MOSCOW 00000189 002 OF 002


---------

7. (SBU) Even if Kasyanov is allowed to join Communist Party
candidate Zyuganov, Liberal Democrat Zhirinovskiy, and
National Democratic Party Chairman Bogdanov in their quixotic
attempt to challenge First Deputy Prime Minister Medvedev for
the presidency, his candidacy will not register with the
voters who, polls show, are poised to cast the votes
necessary to hand President Putin's mantle seamlessly to
Medvedev in election round one on March 2. The Kremlin's
reluctance to allow Kasyanov's candidacy or the three percent
pollsters believe it could leach away from Medvedev's vote
count is indicative of this over-orchestrated transfer of
power.
BURNS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC