The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office opened a criminal case against the organizers of the elections in the opposition coordination council, which was accused of fraud in raising the registration fee. The oppositionists called the criminal case as a provocative act and a conspiracy by the members of the financial pyramid MMM.
The criminal case over fraud was opened against the organizers of the elections to the coordination council of the opposition, the RBC daily reported. The fraud case is substantiated by 64 applications from people, who would like to be candidates and paid 10,000 roubles for this. They were denied registration, and did not return the paid money that caused the conflict.
Organizer of the elections in the coordination council, Leonid Volkov, who had already given testimony in the Sverdlovsk prosecutor’s office on Wednesday, explained that this is 64 members of the financial pyramid MMM that were seeking to register as candidates, but the Central Voting Committee of the coordination council denied registration to them on September 20. “Some of them (not all, but only 53 people) managed to pay organizational fees of 10,000 roubles each making a total of 530,000 roubles,” Volkov wrote in his blog.
Later the organizers of the elections faced the question, how to return this money. Most defrauded candidates paid the organizational fees at the Sberbank offices without opening an account. Finally the Central Voting Committee decided that it will return the money, when the MMM members sign applications to them that the money was transferred mistakenly, and will mention an account, where the money can be repaid. Each unregistered candidate was notified about this decision in the email messages, but only two of them used the proposal, Leonid Volkov said. The remaining 510,000 roubles on the account of the Central Voting Committee were separated and wait for its owners, and the oppositionists claimed that no one intends to spend it.
Members of the coordination council named the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office absurd, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. Meanwhile, they accused the MMM representatives in everything, as the latter, according to them, were seeking to foil the election campaign of the opposition in the interests of the Kremlin. Meanwhile, the observers already linked this situation with a targeted attack on the opposition and consider an immediate response of the Prosecutor General’s Office non-accidental. On Wednesday, A Just Russia deputy Ilya Ponomarev proposed to delay the elections in the coordination council due on October 20-12 over the detention of Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov.
The Novye Izvestia daily recalled that on Thursday, October 18, the period of the online registration of voters expires. This procedure turned out to be quite difficult: at first it was needed to register for the voting in the elections to the coordination council, then pass the verification procedure, making a small payment through the bank and thus verifying his identity. Those who passed the verification procedure, can vote on the voting day through the Internet. Those who passed only the registration procedure, should vote on October 20 or 21 coming to the special polling stations. According to the reports on October 16, the number of registered voters exceeded 100,000 people.