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Gazeta.ru, December 10, 2003

Communists say Duma vote was rigged


Photo: Gazeta.ruYABLOKO and the Union of Right-Wing Forces did clear the 5 per cent barrier required for representation in the State Duma, the Communist Party said after the Central Election Commission released the official results of Sunday's vote. The Communist Party's observers, who monitored the vote and carried out a parallel count of votes, accused the authorities of rigging the vote in favour of pro-Kremlin United Russia.

According to the results of the parallel count of votes carried out by the Communist Party observers, approximately 1.5 per cent was stolen from both YABLOKO and the Union of Right-Wing Forces. The Motherland bloc also lost around 1 per cent during the relay of the results from the voting to Moscow, although this loss wasn't as critical for Sergei Glazyev and Dmitry Rogozin as it was for the liberals.

These are the conclusions of the Communist Party, first announced on Tuesday this week. On Wednesday Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov held a news conference in Moscow where he divulged the results of the parallel vote count and said his party would seek a recount of the votes in the parliamentary elections.

In particular, Zyuganov spoke of additions, which he said were made when the results of the parliamentary election were counted. Ballot papers filled in favour of the pro-Kremlin United Russia were unlawfully stuffed in ballot boxes at polling stations throughout the country.

According to Zyuganov, 15 per cent of the official protocols of the electoral commissions were analysed, which he says makes it possible to say that "at least 3.5 million ballot papers" were unlawfully added to papers actually cast by voters.

"The turnout was not 56 per cent, as the Central Electoral Commission says, but 52.58 per cent," Zyuganov said, adding that the electoral authorities had intentionally added at least 3.5 million ballot papers to inflate United Russia's final tally.

The Communist leader went on to say that 16,633,299 voting papers from almost 11,000 polling stations had been analysed. According to the party's calculation, in actual fact United Russia had obtained 33.1 per cent (instead of 37.1 per cent, under the official results); the Communist Party 12.73 per cent (instead of 12.7 per cent); Liberal Democratic Party 11.46 per cent (instead of 11.6 per cent); Motherland 10.69 per cent (instead of 9.1 per cent); YABLOKO - 5.98 per cent (instead of 4.3 per cent); Union of Right-Wing Forces - 5.12 per cent (instead of 4.0 per cent) and 5.17 per cent (not 4.7 per cent) of ballots were cast against all parties.

Thus, Zyuganov concluded, "according to our data, both YABLOKO and the Union of Right-Wing Forces passed the five-per-cent barrier required for representation in the State Duma". "We cannot recognize the results of a vote, which has been a 100-per-cent swindle. We are demanding a manual recount of the voting papers," Zyuganov said.

At the same time, the party leader made it clear that the Communists did not intend to give up their seats. "We will have a strong and literate faction. We will regroup our forces and focus on our work in the regions," Zyuganov said.

The Communist Party is now the only opposition force in the State Duma, he continued. "The team of Putin and Zhirinovsky is offering us a monarchy and a police state," Zyuganov said.

The Kremlin has already shared out all the leading posts in the State Duma, Zyuganov said. The Communist leader claimed that it had been decided a long time ago that the United Russia leader Boris Gryzlov would become the Duma chairman.

Another United Russia activist, Lyubov Sliska will keep the post of first deputy speaker and Zhirinovsky will, in all probability, retain the post of deputy speaker.

Commenting on the communists' allegations earlier this week, CEC head Alexander Veshnyakov said: "We have no information on fraud that would call into question the elections' results," Alexander Veshnyakov told reporters. Veshnyakov ruled out the possibility that the automatic ballot counting system that adds up reports by local elections commissions could have been manipulated.

United Russia's Oleg Morozov said that if the Communist Party really does have sufficient proof that the vote was rigged, it should, in accordance with the established procedure, pass this evidence over for judicial examination, and only then draw such conclusions.


See also:

State Duma elections 2003

Gazeta.ru, December 10, 2003

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