Russian elections: President Vladimir Putin’s political party wins amid allegations of corruption

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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political party won the majority of seats in parliament. After the election, there were many reports of corruption.

The United Russia Party received nearly 50% of the total votes. a slight decrease from the previous election

Many important Putin critics was forbidden from running in elections And there have been reports of electoral irregularities, such as stuffing ballots or one voter secretly dropping several checked ballots into a chest. and forced voting

Election Commission of Russia Denying allegations of irregularities prevalent in elections According to the Election Commission, After 99% of the votes were counted, the Communist Party The closest opponent of the United Russia party received 19% of the vote.

Officials said United Russia Party Victory This allows the party to occupy more than two-thirds of the 450 seats in parliament.

However, despite retaining a majority in parliament But the party was defeated in some areas. In 2016, the party won the election with 54% of the vote.

The Election Commission is scheduled to announce the official election results on Friday (Sept. 24).

The AP news agency reported that communist party which supports Mr Putin’s policies in parliament It gained about 8% of the vote, but party leader Gennady Shyuganov has blamed widespread electoral violations, including: ballot ballot Images were shared on social media that purportedly depicted the incident as ballot boxes were stuffed into ballot boxes at several polling stations.

Concerns about the quality of life and corruption allegations from jailed government critic Alexei Navalny likely to affect Putin’s party

But he remains popular among many Russians who trust him to take a stand against the West. and restore national pride

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Blame the West

Analysis by Steve Rosenberg, Moscow correspondent.

Analysis box by Steve Rosenberg, Moscow correspondent

for Russian political parties considered finished The United Russia party is confident that will continue to hold a majority in the parliament Although the vote was slightly lower from the last election.

Looking at the celebrations at the party’s headquarters on Sunday night (Sept. 19), the party was delighted with the outcome. The United Russia party insisted that Win this election in a fair and honest way.

This election seemed unfair since before the vote date. Most government critics have been barred from running in elections. Of these, many are Detained supporters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny

After that, it’s a matter of voting process. During the three-day voting period, allegations of electoral fraud were widespread. including stuffing a large number of ballot papers into the chest and intimidation of election observers.

Videos were shared online showing people stuffing paper into the ballot box.

Navalny and his allies urges the Russians to vote strategically, in many cases to vote for candidates from the Communist Party who they believe will defeat the incumbent from the United Russia party But in the end, it was unable to prevent the ruling party from occupying a majority of seats in parliament.

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this election Several cities have started using electronic voting.

For the first time since 1993, election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe–OSCE did not come to observe the elections. Because the Russian authorities enforced a number of restrictions.

On Sunday evening (Sept. 19) Golos, an independent electoral watchdog group. The group, which Russian officials accused of being “foreign spy”, said the group had traced more than 4,500 reports of election violations.

Russia’s interior ministry told reporters that no “serious offences” had been found.

Video clips released on social media showed long lines outside some polling stations. The Interfax news agency reported that such long lines were often found outside the police station. A Russian government spokesman denied the allegations. This video clip indicates that There was pressure for people to vote.

But Golos said the group had been “Lots of messages” from people who say They were forced by their employers to vote. including many allegations of electoral corruption

in parts of Ukraine controlled by Russian-sponsored separatists. Citizens of the city with Russian citizenship are also allowed to vote. Some have crossed the border to polling stations in Russia.

Voters in Moscow Sept. 19, 2021

image source, Getty Images

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Voters in Moscow

There was also some dissatisfaction. After the Smart Voting app invented by jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny It has been removed from the Apple Store and Google Store. On the day the Russians started voting

It is not yet clear whether This application which informs users who may win the seat from the ruling party candidate. Does it affect people’s voting and how?

“It’s unbelievable,” Navalny’s spokesman Keira Yarmish told AFP. “I still remember the feeling when they robbed the 2011 election, the same thing is happening now.”

In 2011, allegations of electoral fraud were widespread. This caused large-scale protests across the country. led by Mr. Navalny

Russian officials have threatened Apple and Google with huge fines. If both companies do not delete this application. As a result, Leonid Volkov, an ally of Mr. Navalny. came out to accuse the big tech companies that “Submitting because of intimidation by the Russian government”

A retiree who lives in Moscow which only said the name Anatoly told Reuters that He voted for the ruling party. He was pleased with Mr Putin’s efforts to regain Russian influence on the world stage.

“Many countries like the US and the UK are more or less respecting us now. Just as they respected the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s…. Anglo-Saxons. I only understand the language of the use of force,” he said.

But there are also many people who see differently.

“I don’t see the benefit of going to the polls,” said a Moscow hairstylist named Irina. “It was all decided on our behalf.”

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