Russia’s leading election monitor, known for accusing the Kremlin of vote rigging and suspended over its alleged “foreign agent” status, found a way to continue its operations, the group’s representative said. Nongovernmental organization (NGO) Golos, would transform into a new legal entity with the same function as before, its deputy head Grigory Melkonyants told RIA Novosti on Thursday. Golos was formally re-established as a non-profit foundation to monitor the elections on Friday, Russian media said, though the necessary paperwork would only be completed next week.
The group, founded in 2000, said earlier it would disband over the pressure it is facing.
The Justice Ministry suspended Golos’ operations for six months last week. The ministry said that Golos, which was awarded a monetary prize from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, failed to comply with a recent law that requires NGOs receiving foreign funding and involved in vaguely defined “political activity” to register as “foreign agents.”