Monday, 3 December 2007, 09:59 GMT
Foreign observers have said that Russia’s parliamentary election won by President Vladimir Putin’s party was “not fair”.
The statement was made by a joint observer team from Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe.
With nearly 98% of ballots counted, Mr Putin’s United Russia had 64.1% of Sunday’s vote.
Opposition claims of fraud were rejected by the electoral commission.
Sunday’s election “was not fair and failed to meet many OSCE and Council of Europe commitments and standards for democratic elections”, the observers said at a news conference in Moscow.
Putin cements power in Russian election
Matthew Weaver and agencies
Monday December 3, 2007
Vladimir Putin’s party has won a crushing victory in Russia’s parliamentary elections after what opposition parties have called the “most irresponsible and dirty” poll in the post-Soviet era.
The landslide win for Putin’s United Russia party will allow him to remain in control even after he steps down as president.
The US has called for an investigation of voting irregularities including claims of intimidation and media bias.
The Communist party, which came second in the poll, has vowed to challenge the result.
US urges inquiry into Putin election landslide
By Adrian Blomfield and Richard Holt
8:01am GMT 03/12/2007
The US has called for an investigation into claims of vote-rigging after President Vladimir Putin’s party swept to a landslide victory in Russia.
With almost all ballots counted, Mr Putin’s United Russia party has secured over 64 per cent of the vote.
The result clears the way for the president to retain his grip on power even after he is required to step down next year at the end of his second term.
Whether he plans to do so as president, prime minister or from some other post is only likely to become apparent later this month.
The Kremlin has hailed the result as a sign that voters want Mr Putin to maintain his influence.
“Russian voters spoke in favour of United Russia, thus supporting President Putin’s course, and spoke in favour of it being continued after the current president’s second term ends,” a Kremlin spokesman told Reuters.
The Communists, who came second with just under 12 per cent of the vote, have vowed to challenge the result in the courts.
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