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Russian Elections Commission Lays Down New Rules for Bloggers

Local election committees will be responsible for monitoring bloggers based in their area.

Russia's Central Elections Commission approved a set of new rules Wednesday for popular bloggers during election campaigns, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

Under the new rules, bloggers with web pages visited by more than 3,000 people a day must restrict any propaganda to the campaign period limits, and post "objective and verifiable information about candidates and parties that doesn't infringe on candidates' equality," the report said.

Local election committees will be responsible for monitoring bloggers based in their area. Vladimir Churov, head of the Central Election Committee, was cited by Kommersant as saying authorities should monitor information posted by bloggers to check whether it is being published in accordance with the laws — and whether it's true.

Large-scale regional elections are scheduled for September across the country.

In other election news Wednesday, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament — the Federation Council — unanimously approved a plan to move elections for the State Duma, the lower chamber, to September 2016 from December of that year, government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.

The elections will now be held on the third Sunday in September. Some analysts have said the move is a ploy by the ruling United Russia party to weaken potential support for opposition candidates, as the campaigns will be held in the summer when many people are away on vacation. In addition, some people will be at their dachas in September and unable to vote, unlike in the winter months, when people are more likely to stay in the city.

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