| Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces are teaming up with
the Communists to
monitor parliamentary elections Sunday in an effort to prevent possible
vote rigging in favor of pro-Kremlin parties.
One or more observers from the three parties will be present at each
country's 98,000 polling stations to look for any dirty tricks and watch
"Authoritarian tendencies are growing stronger in the country.
of the election campaign shows that equal opportunities are not being
provided to all candidates," the parties said in a statement.
Boris Nadezhdin, the deputy head of the Union of Right Forces, or SPS,
by telephone Wednesday that the agreement was needed to prevent mass
falsification in the regions, where regional and local election officials,
he said, will come under pressure from Kremlin-dependent administrations
deliver the best possible results for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party.
Nadezhdin signed a vote-monitoring agreement with Yabloko deputy head
Sergei Ivanenko and Communist
Party coordinator Sergei Reshulsky on Tuesday.
Ivanenko said the deal is purely technical and the three parties are
rivals in the race. "We do not consider this a political agreement,
though any step taken by a party several days before the elections is
widely seen as a political move. The purpose of the agreement is to boost
the efficiency of the work of observers," Ivanenko said by telephone.
He said Yabloko decided to work with SPS and the Community Party because
could only cover about a third of the polling stations on its own.
The agreement has been in the works for some time. In October, Communist
leader Gennady Zyuganov said in an interview that the Communists were
to join forces with other parties to monitor the vote. "We have 500
nationwide and are ready to cooperate with Yabloko or any other party
except United Russia," Zyuganov said.
the original at
State Duma elections 2003