Russian Election 2012
March 5, 2012 by staff
Russian Election 2012, International monitors said on Monday Russia’s presidential election was clearly skewed to favour Vladimir Putin, a verdict that could spur protesters planning to take to the streets to challenge his right to rule.
Putin, who secured almost 64 percent of votes on Sunday, portrayed his emphatic victory for a third term as president as a strong mandate to deal with the biggest anti-Kremlin protests since he rose to power in 2000.
But vote monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe watchdog echoed complaints by opposition leaders who said the election was not fair and who plan to protest against the outcome in central Moscow later on Monday.
“The point of elections is that the outcome should be uncertain. This was not the case in Russia,” said Tonino Picula, one of the vote monitors. “According to our assessment, these elections were unfair.”
The OSCE monitors said Putin was given a clear advantage over his rivals in the media and that state resources were used to help him extend his domination of Russia for six more years.
They called for all allegations of voting irregularities to be thoroughly investigated.
Although the observers’ findings have no legal bearing, they undermine Russian election officials’ statements that there were no serious violations and confirm the concerns of many voters.
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