Procedure : 2012/2505(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0058/2012

Texts tabled :

B7-0058/2012

Debates :

Votes :

PV 16/02/2012 - 8.6

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0054

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 122kWORD 72k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0052/2012
8.2.2012
PE479.485v01-00
 
B7-0058/2012

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on the upcoming Presidential election in Russia on 4 March 2012 and the outcome of the Duma elections on 4 December 2011 (2012/2505(RSP))


Kristiina Ojuland, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Graham Watson on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the upcoming Presidential election in Russia on 4 March 2012 and the outcome of the Duma elections on 4 December 2011 (2012/2505(RSP))  
B7‑0058/2012

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous reports and resolutions on Russia, in particular its resolutions of 14 December 2011(1) on the State Duma election and of 7 July 2011(2) on preparations for the Russian State Duma elections in December 2011,

–   having regard to the OSCE/ODIHR Final Observation Report of 12 January on the State Duma elections of 4 December 2011,

–   having regard to the final observation report of 23 January 2012 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the Russian parliamentary elections and the statement of the post-election delegation to Russia of 21 January 2012,

–   having regard to the Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, on the Duma elections in the Russian Federation of 6 December 2011 and to her speeches of 13 December 2011 in Strasbourg on the EU-Russia Summit and of 1 February in Brussels,

–   having regard to the statement of the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, of 15 December 2011 following the EU-Russia Summit,

–   having regard to the massive public protests and demonstrations in Russia since the Duma elections and to the concerns surrounding the forthcoming presidential elections,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas with a number of mass demonstrations, along with other forms of public protests since the Duma elections on 4 December 2011, the Russian people have expressed their support for democracy and for a comprehensive reform of the electoral system;

B.  whereas the Russian Federation, as a full member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), has committed itself to the principles of democracy and respect for fundamental rights; whereas serious concerns remain regarding democracy, the respect of human and fundamental rights, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and repressive measures taken against journalists and opposition;

C. whereas the European Court of Human Rights ruled in April 2011 against the cumbersome registration procedures for political parties in Russia, which do not comply with the election standards set by the Council of Europe and the OSCE; whereas limiting registration for political parties and candidates restrains political competition and pluralism in Russia;

D.  whereas despite recently adopted initiatives to improve election laws the general rules remain overly complex and vague and lead to an inconsistent application of the law;

E.  whereas, according to the OSCE/ODIHR Final Observation Report, the Duma elections of 4 December 2011 did not respect standards of free and fair elections and were marked by convergence between state and governing party including the lack of independence of the election administration, partiality of the media and state interference at different levels; whereas, according to the report, the Duma elections have brought about a high number of procedural violations, apparent manipulation and serious indications of ballot box stuffing;

F.  whereas the preparations for the presidential elections need to guarantee a free and fair process with equal chances for all candidates; whereas the registration procedures again have excluded certain candidates from taking part in the elections;

G. whereas the EU should refrain from double standards towards non-democratic regimes;

1.  Expresses its deep concern over the reports by the OSCE/ODIHR and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that the Duma elections did not fulfil election standards as defined by the OSCE and were marked by the convergence of the state and governing party, by procedural violations, apparent manipulation and lack of independence of the election administration;

2.  Stresses that the demonstrations in Russia must be seen as an expression of the will of the Russian people to uphold democratic principles and the rule of law; condemns the crackdown by the police on peaceful demonstrations protesting about election irregularities and fraud reported by international observers; reiterates its call for a full investigation of all reports of fraud and intimidation, and penalties for those found responsible;

3.  Notes the recent calls for an annulment of the 4 December 2011 State Duma elections; calls on the Russian authorities to address thoroughly all cases of electoral malfeasance with a view to penalising the officials involved and to rerun the voting where irregularities have occurred;

4.  Reiterates its calls for new free and fair elections to be held after registration of all opposition parties and underlines that the conduct of the presidential elections in Russia on 4 March will be crucial for the further democratisation of the country; repeats the call on the Council of Europe and the OSCE to make an assessment of Russia's compliance with the obligations stemming from its membership of these organisations and calls on the members of the Group of Eight to look over Russian participation in the G8 forum;

5.  Regrets that the Russian authorities did not allow for sufficient and efficient observation of the elections, in accordance with OSCE/ODIHR and Council of Europe standards, as the international and national election observation could not be fully deployed owing to interference and hindrance;

6.  Takes note of the investigations into the allegations of fraud and of the high number of violations and fraud incidents reported so far; stresses that Russia's electoral legislation provides for appeal and rectification; points out, however, that the administration of complaints by the Central Election Committee has lacked transparency and did not address complaints effectively and in a timely manner; calls on the Russian authorities to continue to investigate comprehensively and transparently all reports of fraud and intimidation with a view to sanctioning those found responsible, and to rerun the voting where irregularities have been proved;

7.  Takes note of President Medvedev's announcement of comprehensive reforms of the political system including the much needed simplification of rules governing the registration of political parties; calls for a serious commitment also to address the problems of media freedom and freedom of assembly and expression; underlines the importance of media access on equal terms for all political parties and candidates throughout an election campaign; reiterates the EU's readiness to cooperate with Russia in every possible way to improve respect for human and fundamental rights and the effectiveness of an independent rule of law system in Russia;

8.  Calls on the Russian authorities to take the recent protests as an opportunity to answer the call of the Russian people for more democracy, to reform electoral laws, to comply with Council of Europe and OSCE standards in cooperation with the Venice Commission and to fulfil those standards in practice in order to guarantee free and democratic presidential elections in March with equal opportunities for all candidates;

9.  Recalls that the restrictions on political pluralism during the preparation of the Duma elections, especially the exclusion of the opposition party PARNAS, was one of the key flaws in those elections; condemns the exclusion of opposition candidates including Mr Yavlinksy, Yabloko and Irkutsk Governor Dmitry Mezentsev, from standing as a candidate in the presidential elections on 4 March 2012, which is once more undermining political competition and pluralism;

10. Calls on the OSCE and the Council of Europe to follow up on the investigations into irregularities, and to closely monitor the preparation of the presidential elections and the implementation and enforcement of electoral rules;

11. Calls on the Russian authorities to allow for sufficient and efficient observation of the presidential elections, in accordance with OSCE/ODIHR and Council of Europe standards, and to refrain from intervention against international, national and local observation actors before and during the vote;

12. Calls for the suspension of the activities of the EU-Russia PCC until free and fair parliamentary elections have been held in Russia;

13. Calls on the Commission to make further efforts to secure an unhindered gas and energy supply from Russia in accordance with existing agreements disregarding the political or climatological temperature in Europe;

14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation, the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

(1)

      Text adopted, P7_TA(2011)0575.

(2)

      Text adopted, P7_TA(2011)0335.

Last updated: 15 February 2012Legal notice