Laws and legal
(LF/RFE/RL Newsline, 25 March 2008) -- Valery Potapenko was quoted by "Kommersant" on March 24 as saying he is not aware of any decree by President Putin removing him from office, nor does he anticipate any such move. Rumors of Potapenko's imminent dismissal began circulating several weeks ago after Nikolai Kiselyov was dismissed from the post, which he had held since 2004, of governor of Arkhangelsk Oblast, into which the Nenets Autonomous Oblast is to be gradually incorporated against the will of many of its residents (see "RFE/RL Newsline," January 23, 2008). On March 19, the Arkhangelsk Oblast legislature approved by a vote of 55 in favor, three against, and one invalid ballot paper President Putin's proposed candidate to succeed Kiselyov, Ilya Mikhalchuk, who resigned last September as Irkutsk mayor after his subordinates were implicated in a corruption scandal, regnum.ru reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," September 12, 2007 and March 11, 2008). Mikhalchuk told deputies at his confirmation hearing that he will seek to consolidate the efforts of the authorities and society and revive the oblast's construction industry, and that he does not plan sweeping personnel changes, regnum.ru reported on March 19.
Posted 25 March 2008; 4:24:00 PM. Permalink
(CBC News, 25 March 2008) -- New rules that require voters to have photo identification and a street address need to be reconsidered because they hurt northern voters, Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington says. Under the new rules, aimed at reducing voter fraud in federal elections, legitimate voters could be turned away at the polls, Bevington told CBC News in a recent interview. The rules do not make sense in many small northern communities where voters may not be able to obtain photo identification or may not have a street address, he said. "If we have an elder who is going into the polls, known to the people behind the desk for 50 years, and they have to turn him down just because he doesn't have the proper identification, I think everyone would agree that's just wrong," Bevington said. The new rules could affect 25 per cent of voters in the Northwest Territories, and even more in Nunavut, in the next federal election, he said.
Posted 25 March 2008; 2:22:38 PM. Permalink