Of carousels and monitors

© RIA Novosti . Vitali Belousov / Go to the mediabankOf carousels and monitors
Of carousels and monitors          - Sputnik International
A video clip posted after Sunday's parliamentary elections shows an official at a polling station in Moscow filling out ballots as he sits at his desk.

One video shows an election official at a polling station in Moscow filling out ballots as he sits at his desk.

Another how people were bussed from one polling station to another to vote over and over again.

An observer at a Moscow polling station posted a scan of a document on Monday showing United Russia had garnered 271 votes there, while election authorities said the "real" figure was – in fact – over 600.

These are just some of the allegations of election fraud in favor of the ruling United Russia party that have surfaced since Sunday’s vote. Many were uploaded to websites or social network forums by individual bloggers.

Golos, Russia’s only independent election monitor, has logged more than 7,000 cases of falsification and said its website suffered a “denial-of-service” cyber-attack. Liberal radio station Echo Moskvy and the daily Kommersant paper have also said their websites were brought down.

“These are the last elections in Russia on such a scale of fraud,” Golos head Lilia Shibanova told a news conference on Sunday night, as it became apparent that despite widespread reports of ballot box stuffing, Vladimir Putin’s party would lose its current two-thirds majority.

The foreign-funded group said halfway through Sunday’s election there were 20 times more violations than at the previous polls in 2007.

“We can’t even call them elections - it’s the theft of votes from the Russian people,” opposition leader Boris Nemtsov told reporters.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said the election was marred by the “convergence of the state and the governing party.”

“The contest was also slanted in favor of the ruling party as evidenced by the lack of independence of the election administration, the partiality of most media, and the undue interference of state authorities at different levels,” Petros Efthymiou, head of the OSCE delegation, told a news conference on Monday.

Golos monitors were not admitted into polling stations across Russia, or removed by force to avoid what officials thought should be private occasions, like the unsealing of the ballot boxes or counting of votes, the organization charged.

The elections were marked by an unprecedented grassroots campaign against United Russia and its leader, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

“Our main enemy, Mr. “THIS_IS_POINTLESS_WE_DO_NOT_DECIDE_ANYTHING,” is not yet beaten, but he’s received a serious blow,” prominent activist and blogger Alexei Navalny, who coined United Russia’s infamous tag, “Party of Swindlers and Thieves,” wrote in a blog post on Monday.

Navalny had been leading calls to vote for any party other than United Russia in the Sunday election - a scheme which appeared to have caught fire with a surprisingly large proportion of ordinary Russians.  

“For the first time in many years, millions of absolutely different Russian citizens have chosen a common political strategy, realized it without any significant coordination and achieved success,” he wrote.

The views expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала