A lishenets (Russian: лишенец), from Russian word лишение, "deprivation", properly translated in this context as a disenfranchised, was a person stripped of the right of
votingin the Soviet Unionof 1918 — 1936. Disenfranchisingwas a means of repression of the categories of population that were classified as "enemies of the working people".
1918 Soviet Constitutionenumerated the categories of disenfranchised people:
* Persons who used hired labor to obtain increase in profits
* Persons who have income without doing any work, such as interests from capital, receipts from property, etc
* Private merchants, trade and commercial brokers
* Monks and clergy of all denominations
* Former policemen
* Persons, who have been declared demented or mentally deficient, persons under guardianship, etc.
1924 Soviet Constitutionand subsequent decrees detailed this list further and added new categories. Being disenfranchised meant much more than simply being disallowed to vote or be elected. A "lishenets" could not occupy any governmental position, or receive higher and technical education. He was deprived of various privileges and subsidies: employment, housing, retirement, etc. He could not be a member of kolkhozes and other kinds of cooperatives. During the rationingsystem of 1929-1930, disenfranchised were also deprived of rations.
Members of the family whose head was "lishenets" were automatically disenfranchised. The voting rights could be restored by local
election commissions upon the proof of engagement in productive labor and of the loyalty to the Soviet power. The ultimate authorities were the Central Election Commissionand Presidiumof the Central Executive Committee.
1936 Soviet Constitutioninstituted universal suffrage, and the category of "lishenets" was officially eliminated. Nevertheless, for a long time after 1936, Soviet citizens applying for any job had to make a statement if they or their family members were ever deprived of voting right so they still fall into disenfranchised category.
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