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|Russian elections called into question||| Print ||
|Written by Lawrence Dushenski|
|Monday, 05 March 2012 10:39|
International election monitors have called the Russian Presidential election into question as Vladimir Putin celebrated a return to the Kremlin for a third term.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe issued a statement Monday that said the elections were “clearly skewed” in favour of Putin. It continued to state that an “impartial referee was missing”.
Putin was elected with 64 per cent of the votes, according to the Russian Central Election Commission. The scale of his victory, amidst nation-wide protests againt his regime, were called into question by his competitors as well.
According to Al-Jazeera, Communist rival Gennady Zyuganov called the vote “unfair and unworthy”.
But state-run Russian media outlet Pravda is reporting that more than 100,000 people took to the streets of Moscow in support of Putin.
“We won in the open and honest struggle,” Putin said to the crowd that gathered in Manezhnaya Square.
Allegations of ballot-box stuffing, voter intimidation and other forms of election fraud were rampant throughout the international community. But according to CNN, OSCE Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini praised improvements to the voting system in Russia, including transparent ballot boxes and web cameras in polling stations.
Golos, a Russian election watchdog, said that it had received more than 3,000 reports of voting fraud during the elections. According to BBC, reports of “carousel voting”, where voters were taking from one polling station to another, were rampant.
Putin was forced to move to the role of Prime Minister in 2008 due to a constitutional ban on serving three straight terms as President. His close ally Dmitry Medvedev took the top spot in the Kremlin for the past four years.
Tens of thousands of protestors have been called to take to the streets of Moscow to protest the results, but authorities have limited the number of people legally allowed to attend rallies.
Putin greeted his supporters with “I promised you we would win, and we won – glory to Russia!.” Time will tell how much glory will in fact be coming to Russia.
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