Alexander Veshnyakov

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Alexander Albertovich Veshnyakov (Russian: Александр Альбертович Вешняков; b. November 24, 1952, in Arkhangelsk Oblast, Soviet Union) is a Russian official. Between March 21, 1995 and March 24, 1999, he was the Secretary of the Central Election Commission of Russia. He was the Chairman of the Central Election Commission between March 24, 1999 and March 26, 2007.


Veshnyakov lost his post heading the elections commission after he balked at putting into effect an election law revision that removed a minimum 20% turnout requirement, without which an election was invalid, and introduced new reasons for refusing registration to would-be candidates, saying it could be a pretext for refusing registration to candidates who were “undesirable”.[1]

President Vladimir Putin simply had simply not put forward Veshnyakov’s name for renewed membership of the election commission.

Before the voting law was changed, Veshnyakov had in July 2006 told the Itogi weekly that if the ruling pro-Kremlin United Russia party that secured victory at any cost by changing the electoral laws, it would be a "Pyrrhic victory", RIA Novosti reported on March 13 [2] In an apparent reference to the Soviet Union, he had said: "Just recently, we had a sham legislature and sham elections, and it did not hamper the country's development at that point. But the system failed to survive the test of time and collapsed."

‘[His] ousting, according to some experts, can be explained by his critical attitude to the most outrageous amendments to the electoral legislation (the abolition of the minimum turnout and the ‘none-of the above’ entry on the ballot),’ political commentator Dmitry Shusharin wrote for the country’s state new agency, RIA Novosti. [3] ‘And even if there were no such remarks, his eight years in the post have earned Veshnyakov considerable weight in the country and the world, making him a media person of note. For the political establishment in Russia, all this is reason enough to doubt the man's political loyalty and suspect him of being a maverick.’

Veshnyakov was appointed Ambassador of Russia to Latvia, Radio Free Europe reported on January 11 quoting the news portal the same day.[4] The Kremlin, the radio reported, had been looking for a senior post away from Moscow to which it could send Veshnyakov, who was well known in Russia as the often outspoken former head of the Central Election Commission. His replacement, former ultranationalist State Duma deputy Vladimir Churov, had said he was "less likely to comment on election law and more inclined to get things done" than Veshnyakov.

On December 15 2016 Alexander Veshnyakov was dismissed from the position of Ambassador in Latvia.[5]

Honours and awards[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Alexander Ivanchenko
Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Russia
March 24, 1999, - March 26, 2007
Succeeded by
Vladimir Churov