Alexei Navalny describes the parliamentary election as stolen
The imprisoned opposition member Alexei Navalny speaks of clear evidence of manipulation in the vote count. Observers criticize the Russian election as unfree.
After all votes in the parliamentary elections in Russia have been counted, the opposition and observers see their allegations of fraud confirmed. In Moscow, for example, there is clear evidence that the vote initially went in favour of the opposition, according to a statement published on Instagram by the imprisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny. With the later publication of the data of the online voting, the result was then adjusted in the interests of the ruling party, United Russia. The result was changed in the “most primitive way” and thus stolen from the voters, said Navalny.
Independent Russian election observers also criticized far-reaching violations in a preliminary balance sheet. As a result, one is forced to determine that the elections can not be recognized as really free, said the election observers of the Golos organization. Specifically, the group criticized inconsistencies in the counting of votes and the exclusion of numerous opposition candidates.
The observers had already listed thousands of violations in the past few days. Since 1993, no observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had come to the Duma elections for the first time. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he took the doubts very seriously. “We are currently looking at it,” said Maas. There are indications “that everything did not go as we imagine it would fall under fair and free elections”.
The Russian electoral commission had awarded the party supported by President Vladimir Putin the victory. United Russia suffered slight losses but received 49.8 percent of the vote and won the absolute majority in the State Duma. In second place came the communists with 18.9 percent. The right-wing populists of the LDPR, the Just Russia party and, for the first time, the new Novyje Lyudi (“New People”) party also made it over the five percent threshold. All parties represented in the new Duma are considered close to the government.
Navalny said observers at the polling stations fought for votes and against the fraud. But he does not expect significant protests against the election result. “The intimidation and repression have taken the will of many. As a result, people are afraid to take to the streets,” he wrote.
After the three-day vote ended, hundreds of people followed a call by the Communists for a rally in downtown Moscow, who did not want to recognize the online vote results in Moscow. Instead, the crowd shouted, among other things, “Russia will be free” and “Russia without Putin”.