Putin’s party holds power in Russia — but opponents, watchdogs claim tampering

By Sarah Ostman

Russian voters on Sunday came out in droves for the country’s regional elections, voting to keep in power the United Russia Party, the party of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

At least, that’s what the people in charge said. Two opposing parties — the Communists and A Just Russia — and a watchdog group both claim the prime minister’s party rigged the election to show increased turnout.

“United Russia knows its real rating, which is why it has staked everything on monstrous violations,” said Oleg Mikheev, a campaign leader for A Just Russia. “It can obtain the desired results only with the help of deception and forgery.”

Golos, Russia’s only independent election watchdog group, confirmed Monday that they had witnessed tampering with absentee ballots to increase turnout.

And if that wasn’t enough, at least one man lost his life in the aftermath of the election. Abdulmuslim Nurmagomedov was shot and killed during a protest after 4,500 ballots were stolen, a police spokeswoman said.


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