Chechens back Putin's party, 120% of them: politician
A top Chechen lawmaker promised Wednesday that authorities could drum up 120 percent of the vote for Russian Prime Minister's United Russia party -- a jump from the 99 percent in 2007.
"If United Russia needs to obtain during the elections 115-120 percent of the votes, we can guarantee this result," Chechen parliament president Dukuvakha Abdurakhmanov said, according to Russia's RBK news agency.
Those results were possible, he said, thanks to the popularity of both Putin and Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov in Chechnya, he said.
"If United Russia was run by people other than Ramzan Kayrov and Vladimir Putin nobody would vote for (it)," Abdurakhmanov said.
At every election, Russian opposition parties denounce voting fraud allegedly favouring United Russia. The party captured 99 percent of the votes during 2007 legislative elections in Chechnya -- with voter turnout also placed at 99 percent.
In remarks broadcast on the independent Echo of Moscow radio station, Russia United central committee chief Andrei Vorobev suggested Abdurakhmanov had simply described "with humour" the party's popularity.
© 2010 AFP