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Putin’s Party Loses Majority, Despite Fraud

From his concerned admirers at the Associated Press:

Putin’s party barely hangs onto its majority

December 5, 2011

MOSCOW – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s party saw its majority in Russia’s parliament weaken sharply, according to preliminary election results released Monday, a humiliating setback for the man who has steadily tightened his grip on the nation for nearly 12 years.

Some opposition politicians and election monitors said even a result of around 50 percent for Putin’s United Russia party was inflated because of vote fraud. Their claims were backed by international observers, who pointed to procedural violations and serious indications of ballot stuffing after a campaign slanted in favor of United Russia

What is the Russian word for ACORN?

United Russia is still expected to retain its majority in the lower house and Putin is all but certain to win next March’s presidential election, but Sunday’s vote badly dented his carefully groomed image. It reflected a strong public frustration with the lack of political competition, ubiquitous official corruption and the gap between rich and poor.

Thankfully, we would never have such problems here.

With about 96 percent of precincts counted, United Russia was leading with 49.5 percent of the vote, Central Election Commission chief Vladimir Churov said. He predicted that it will get 238 of the Duma’s 450 seats, a sharp drop compared to the previous vote that landed the party a two-thirds majority in the State Duma, allowing it to change the constitution.

Final preliminary results were to be announced on Monday morning, but the count dragged on for longer than expected. Some opposition politicians alleged that election officials may manipulate the vote count to make sure that United Russia gets over 50 percent mark. Mikhail Kasyanov, a former prime minister who is now in opposition, said that Putin badly needs the figure to avoid looking weak.

The monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly wouldn’t say if the irregularities could be at the scale to question if United Russia has an unearned majority. But [one of the monitors] said that of the 150 polling stations where the counting was observed, "34 were assessed to be very bad."

United Russia has been seen increasingly as the party of corrupt officials, and its description as a "party of crooks and thieves" has stuck, flashing up as the first suggestion on Russia’s top web search engine.

And they control the Russian media almost as thoroughly as the Democrat Party controls ours. So maybe there is hope for us, too.

But just try to imagine what the election results would be across our own country if they were all honest and open.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, December 5th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

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