MOSCOW (AP) — Russian electoral authorities have selected the country's former human rights ombudsman to be the chairman of the central election commission ahead of the parliamentary election in September.
Following the Central Election Committee's decision on Monday, Ella Pamfilova will serve as the key official responsible for overseeing Russia's election process.
Earlier in March, President Vladimir Putin made a surprise move and dropped Vladimir Churov from the post. Churov was known as 'the wizard' by the Russian opposition in 2011 when hundreds of election monitors documented widespread fraud during the parliamentary election, fueling frustrations that spilled into massive anti-government protests.
It is unclear why Churov was removed from the post. Eight others on the 15-seat commission were also not given new terms.
Members of the election commission typically serve for five years. Of the 15 members, the Russian president and the upper and lower legislative bodies each appoint five members.
This version corrects the first name of Pamfilova to Ella.