| Sergei Mitrokin,
one of Yabloko party's leaders, has stated that according to available
information, Yabloko did cross the 5% threshold in the Duma elections -
but the party's vote total was artificially lowered just enough to prevent
it from getting into the Duma. |
Mitrokhin said: "This fact casts doubt on whether it will be possible
for us to participate in the presidential election. It is futile playing
cards with a card-shark twice."
What grounds are there for these
doubts about the veracity of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC)? Within
two hours of the start of the vote-counting, Yabloko's result halted at
the 4.2% mark and stayed there for the next nine hours; the following
day it had risen by only 0.1%. But during those nine hours, ballot papers
were counted in Moscow and St. Petersburg - traditionally good cities
for Yabloko. In Moscow, Yabloko got 10% of the vote; in St. Petersburg,
it got 9%. Four hundred thousand Muscovites voted for Yabloko, or 0.7%
of the total voter turnout (55 million people). In St. Petersburg, Yabloko
got 150,000 votes - 0.27% of the total. Could this really have failed
to get Yabloko past the 5% threshold? After all, Yabloko also picked up
votes in other regions of western Russia.
An alternative vote-counting system called Fair Game, established by the
Communist Party, provides a possible explanation as to what happened to
the votes that went to the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) and YABLOKO.
Observers from the Communist Party (300,000) joined observers from the
SPS and Yabloko (200,000) to cover 77 out of 89 Russian regions. Numbers
from polling stations were supplied to Fair Game. The alternative count
revealed a shortfall of around 3% of the vote for the opposition, which
had been added to United Russia's total. The SPS and Yabloko were deprived
of slightly more votes than other parties, to prevent them from getting
into the Duma.
The Communists can hardly be accused of any bias, as the alternative
count acknowledges that they were affected by fraud least of all.
The Communist Party has released the following data for the results of
voting via electoral lists (20,482,989 voters out of 108,768,722, or 18.3%):
United Russia - 33.66%; the Communist Party - 12.6%; the Liberal Democratic
Party of Russia - 11.25%; the Motherland bloc (Rodina) - 10.73%; Yabloko
- 5.88%; the SPS - 5.04%; the Russian Party of Pensioners and Social Justice
This information is available at www.fairgame.ru
State Duma elections