Russia: Putin’s party heads for victory amid vote fraud claims

Putin's party heads for victory amid vote fraud claims
President Vladimir Putin. Source: AP
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party heads for another big victory in the country’s parliamentary elections, despite a drop in support.

Mr Putin’s party claimed victory a few hours after the polls closed on Sunday evening.

The Russian President’s most vocal critics, including Alexei Navalny, were barred from running in the election, and candidates who were allowed to contest in the election were heavily vetted.

There have been numerous allegations of forced voting and ballot stuffing.

But the electoral commission of Russia rejected claims of widespread irregularities.

Initial results showed that with over 90% of votes counted, and Putin’s United Russia had won nearly 50%, followed by the Communist Party with about 20%.

A senior official of United Russia, Andrei Turchak, said his party would win more than 300 of the 450 seats in the country’s parliament, the State Duma.

The partial poll results show that despite United Russia easily retaining its majority in parliament, it did lose some ground. In 2016, Mr Putin’s party won 54% of the vote.

The Communists saw their support grow by 8%. The party broadly support Putin’s initiatives in the parliament. But their leader, Gennady Zyuganov, has alleged widespread violations, including ballot-stuffing, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Social media pictures showed people allegedly stuffing votes into boxes, with one showing a hand popping out from behind a Russian flag.

You may read: Aukus: France pulls out of UK defence talks amid row