Trust comes from within

Filed under - Civil society

Opinion by Elena Panfilova, Director, Center for Anti-corruption Research and Initiative, Transparency International Russia in OECD (Paris) – 24 May 2013
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Russians are becoming increasingly active in the country’s social arena. While activists remain a small but growing and visible minority of citizens looking for changes in governance, many more are becoming involved in the day-to-day affairs of their communities. It remains to be seen whether this emerging culture of civic participation will sit comfortably with existing governance structures.

Saying that 2012 was a turbulent year for Russian society would be a great understatement. The year started with unprecedented and largely unexpected protests against alleged electoral fraud at the December 2011 State Duma elections. In March, the civic supervision of presidential elections–where I spent 24 hours at a polling station as an official elections monitoring expert–was even more extraordinary.

Protests against alleged electoral fraud erupted on the streets of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and almost all other major Russian cities. These led to clashes with police in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square on 6 May over the arrest of protest leaders, and then to the adoption of new restrictions on non-profit organisations that receive funds from foreign sources, the so-called “Foreign Agents Law”. Demonstrators also protested against amendments to laws governing public events, anti-extremism on the Internet, libel and high treason.

Read more on the OECD Website

Country / Territory - Russia   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Civil society   |   Governance   |   Politics and government   
Tags - Elections   |   Protests   |   OECD   |   Elena Panfilova   |   Foreign Agents Law   |   Civic activists   

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