Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, passed on Wednesday in the final reading a new law which significantly increases fines for various forms of election fraud and violations.
The bill was introduced in the State Duma on February 1 between the parliamentary and presidential elections in Russia in response to accusations by the opposition that the general elections had been heavily rigged and slanted in favor of the ruling United Russia party.
The new law doubles the fine for violating ballot secrecy to up to 80,000 rubles ($2,700) and increases the fine for tampering with the automated election system to up to 500,000 rubles ($17,000).
The violation of election campaign financing procedure will be punished with a fine of up to 500,000 rubles or the amount equal to the defendant's income over one to three years.
The minimum fine for this offense has been doubled to 200,000 rubles ($6,770).
The law also stipulates a minimum fine for forging electoral documents amounting to 100,000 rubles ($3,400) and doubles the minimum fine for forging signatures and ballots to 200,000 rubles ($6,770).
The fine for fabricating election results will rise to 300,000-500,000 rubles ($10,000-$17,000) from 100,000-300,000 rubles.