Results of NGO elections to Civic Chamber

Results of NGO elections to Civic Chamber announced
The final stage of selections for the Civic Chamber has been completed, and the advisory body has been formed for a new term.
The previously approved members entering the Chamber via the ‘Presidential list’ and regional civic chambers voted for representatives from NGOs competing for 43 places.
In 2017 the Civic Chamber was formed according to new rules – without internet voting. In addition, the timeframe for its formation was reduced from 150 to 115 days. The process of composing the new Chamber began in February. In March the president approved the candidacies of 40 individuals who have ‘special merits before the state and society’. Later, 84 regional civic chambers nominated their representatives. The third stage – candidates representing NGOs – began in April.
Through this process, 13 sectors each gained three representatives, while four people were elected in the field of public oversight.
The new NGO representatives in the Civic Chamber include the director of WWF Russia Igor Chestin, the president of the Volunteers for Orphans Foundation Elena Alshanskaya, Yuliya Zimova, president of the multi-region organisation Our Children, and Sergei Rybalchenko, chairman of the national organisation Business Russia’s Social Policy Committee.
Amongst those who were nominated but not elected were board member of the Institute of Contemporary Development Evgeniy Gontmakher, member of the Government Advisory Committee for Social Welfare Elena Klochko, director of the Vladimir Smirnov Foundation Elena Beregovaya, and chairman of the board of the National Foundation for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Aleksandr Spivak.
In 2014 the Civic Chamber was also composed in three stages: 83 regional civic chambers selected a representative, 40 people entered via the ‘Presidential list’ and a further 43 were identified through internet voting. Several candidates were dismissed for ‘using technology to influence voting’, with some labelling the election a ‘farce’. At the end of 2016 President Putin signed a law changing the procedure for forming the chamber and abolishing internet voting.
Vyacheslav Bocharov, president of the servicemen and women’s charity 21st Century Soldiers Against War, was elected secretary of the Civic Chamber. Bocharov has been a member of the chamber since 2014, and replaces Aleksandr Brechalov, who is currently acting head of the Republic of Udmurtia.
On 8 June at the media centre ASI Blagosfera members of the newly composed Civic Chamber gave their first press conference where they spoke about their future work.

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