| MOSCOW, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The leader of Russia's liberal
Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinsky
accused the Kremlin on Tuesday of rigging the results of last week's parliament
vote but said no legal action would ever succeed in the country's courts.
Yavlinsky, who failed to win enough votes to enter the State Duma lower
house for the first time since Soviet days, dismissed the possibility
election fraud spurring mass protests similar to those that toppled
Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.
"Nothing like that can happen here," Yavlinsky told a news
"Georgia is Georgia and Russia...is Russia," he said.
The veteran liberal politician accepted that the Kremlin-backed United
Russia bloc, which scored a resounding election victory, did excel in
poll but blamed the liberal parties' failure to gather the five percent
votes needed to enter the chamber on unfair campaigning and vote-rigging.
United Russia crushed the Communists and wiped out Russia's two main
liberal parties -- Yabloko and the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS).
"People did vote en masse for this newly formed entity United Russia,"
"And to such an extent that I think they even had to lower the
-- where it topped 100 percent," he added with a wry smile in an
reference to overzealous apparatchiks trying to win favours with the
Foreign observers have expressed concern at media coverage heavily
favouring pro-Kremlin parties during the campaign. The United States said
the vote was not fair but there was no indication that the authorities
resorted to outright fraud.
Yavlinsky said Yabloko had overwhelming evidence that this was the case
was -- along with other parties who posted their observers at polling
stations -- compiling data to prove it to the general public.
"We understand how the voting system operates, but how can you
(fraud) in Russia..." Yavlinsky said. "We are showing so much
because where should we go with it? To Basmanny court or Tverskoi? Which
one do you suggest?"
Liberal politicians routinely refer to the two Moscow district courts
the embodiment of Russia's politically dependent judicial system after
judges there endorsed prosecution demands in several high-profile cases
with political undertones.
State Duma elections