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Novaya Gazeta, January 19, 2004

Did We All Vote So Amicably?

By Orkhan Jemal

At the end of last week representatives from the YABLOKO Party confirmed that their party was ready to contest in court the results of the [parliamentary] elections. Their vote recount, an alternative to that of the Central Electoral Commission, demonstrated that in reality YABLOKO obtained 6% and the SPS 5.12% of the votes. The recount conducted by the democrats coincide with data provided by the communists. Even though the communists did not detect serious violations as regards the CPRF, they are ready to support YABLOKO in their intention to reinstate justice via trial.

YABLOKO has been detecting violations since December 12. During this period it has checked protocols from about 15,000 electoral districts. Over 10% of the real protocols on paper bearers were compared with the electronic databases voiced by the Central Electoral Commission. YABLOKO has discovered that the data of the Central Electoral Commission on electoral attendance are unreliable.

The head of YABLOKO's analytical centre Galina Mikhalyova told us that over one thousand protocols out of the 10,000 checked demonstrated discrepanices with the data voiced by the Central Electoral Commission. The mainviolation is the number of valid bulletins (line No 10). This means that the lists drawn in the presence of observers and confirmed by signatures and stamps show one figure for actual voters, while the electoral commission announced another figure exceeding the first one which was included into the "GAS-Vibori" [electronic data] system. It should be noted that on occasion this difference is quite perceptible. For example, the protocol from electoral district No 1918 (Perm Region) stated attendance of 881 voters; whereas the Central Electoral Commission announced that over 1,060 voters had participated in voting in this district. In Moscow region, electoral district No 125, 591 voters voted in accordance with the protocol; whereas the "GAS-Vibori" system demonstrated that 1,155 voted. Tatarstan demonstrated an opposite picture: in district No. 2208 the paper protocol shows 1,941 voters, whereas officially the Central Electoral Commission stated only 1,241 voters.

This means that violations took place in the territorial commissions rather than at the lower level. We cannot state that all the "redundant" votes were handed to United Russia, although such cases did take place. For example, only three people voted for United Russia in electoral district No 215, whereas the Central Electoral Commission officially announced that United Russia had obtained over 500 votes there.

In other instances the number of votes was reduced. Again, in Moscow region, electoral district No 1402, 242 voter cast their votes for the CPRF; whereas the "GAS-Vibori" system informed that communists had only 87 supporters there.

All the parties suffered from the vote addons. Even the percentage of United Russia dropped slightly. However, this was not even noticed by their headquarters. Those close to the five per cent electoral barrier suffered most.


See also:

State Duma elections 2003

Novaya Gazeta, January 19, 2004

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