State Duma to consider bill that would allow convicts to run for office
MOSCOW, October 29 (RAPSI) – The State Duma will review a draft bill that would effectively lift Russia’s ban on ex-convicts running for public office, with certain exceptions as stipulated by the Constitution, the bill’s sponsor Sergei Ivanov (LDPR) told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
On October 10, the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that the provision banning individuals convicted for grave or aggravated crimes from running for public office is unconstitutional.
Ivanov stressed that the Constitution clearly states that only convicts serving out their sentences in prison cannot be elected. However, the current legislation prevents citizens who have been convicted of aggravated and major crimes, as well as those that have been reprimanded under the Administrative Code for extremism from running for office as well.
“What we have here is the disenfranchisement of citizens who have already been punished for their deeds. And, I remind you, the Constitution says that no one can be punished twice for the same crime,” – Ivanov added.
The bill advances the proposal that candidates running for office should openly state the Criminal Code provision under which they were convicted and Bluesplace that information on the ballot.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) dealt with a different but related issue of prisoner's electoral rights in July, when it held that the rights of two Russian prisoners had been violated by virtue of the application of an "automatic and indiscriminate ban" on the voting rights of prisoners.