Putin party 'won only 30%' of vote: Russian monitors

8th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Vladimir Putin's United Russia party won 20 percent points less than the officially announced figure of just under 50 percent, a Russian election monitoring group said Thursday.

The Internet group Citizen Observer (nabludatel.org) said United Russia had received only 29.8 percent nationwide, and 25.8 percent in the Russian capital.

Their figures also gave the liberal Yabloko party enough votes to have won seats in parliament, which was denied them under the official results.

Citizen Observer was founded by independent political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin and trained its observers with the help of the Golos election monitoring group.

The group, which based its figures on 176 polling stations where its observers were able to make an alternative count, also contested the official turnout figure.

The real voter turnout was only 51.5 percent in Moscow and 53 percent nationwide, it said -- much lower than the official 60.2 percent nationwide reported by the Central Election Committee.

And the real results for the Communist Party, the runners-up in the poll, were 22.6 percent in Russia, substantially higher than the official 19.6 percent.

Crucially for the Yabloko party, the group said it had received 14.3 percent in Moscow, and 8.2 percent in the rest of the country, thus qualifying it for the State Duma parliament.

The official result gave Yabloko only 3.3 percent -- well short of the seven-percent threshhold required to win seats in the parliament.

Foreign observers with the OSCE mission said Monday that they had observed "frequent" irregularities during the vote, noting especially instances of ballot-stuffing.

Thousands of Russians participated in post-vote protests in Moscow and Saint Petersburg against election fraud with hundreds being swept up by police and dozens receiving jail sentences of up to 15 days.

© 2011 AFP

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