Watchdog complains of pressure on Russian voters

Some Russian voters are complaining of pressure from authorities to provide more votes for the ruling pro-Kremlin party in the upcoming parliamentary elections, an independent Russian election watchdog group said Wednesday.

Alexander Kynev, chief of research for the Golos group, said that compared to the previous election four years ago there appears to be less pressure on candidates than on voters.

Golos set up a website to collect and display complaints of election law violations throughout Russia. It currently counts more than 4,000 complaints.

About a third come from voters who say they're being pressured — mostly by bosses at work or professors at universities — to vote for the ruling United Russia party.

The party is supported by President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin but its ratings have been dwindling.

Kynev said that even those who do not necessarily support the opposition parties seem to be complaining about the pressure.

United Russia won 64 percent of the vote in the 2007 Duma election, but the latest polls show the party hovering at about 50 percent.

Along with Medvedev and Putin, scores of government ministers, mayors and governors take part in United Russian campaigning events in their constituencies.

Under Russian law, state official must take a vacation if they want to campaign. Observers say politicians combine their everyday work and campaigning, thus abusing their dominant position in a particular region or industry.

Liliya Shibanova, Golos' executive director, said that an active role that senior government officials take in United Russia campaigning “contributes to the inequality of election participants which predetermines the outcome of the vote.”

__

Online:

Golos' Map of Violations (in Russian): http://www.kartanarusheniy.ru/

electionsGovernment and politicsnewsUS

Just Posted

Passengers board a BART train at Powell Street station on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Powell Station death serves as a grim reminder. BART doors don’t stop for anyone

What you need to know about safety sensors on the trains

Is the Black Cat affair a distraction from the recovery of The City’s storied nightlife industry or does Mayor Breed’s behavior inadvertently highlight the predicament the industry’s been in since San Francisco reinstated indoor mask requirements on Aug. 20? (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)
Mayor Breed mask controversy highlights nightlife businesses’ plight

‘It’s what all the venues and bars are living every single day’

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
The 49ers unloaded three first-rounders to draft Trey Lance from North Dakota State, who played one football game in 2020. (Courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers)
Week 2 of the NFL Season: Highlights and lowlights from around the league

By Tyler Dunne New York Times There were no shirtless pictures of… Continue reading

About to turn 100, Black ranger Betty Reid Soskin (pictured in Wildcat Canyon Regional Park near her home in Richmond in August) has fought to ensure that American history includes the stories that get overlooked. (Chanell Stone/New York Times)
‘America’s oldest park ranger’ is only her latest chapter

Betty Reid Soskin is also a mother, activist, musician, business owner, political aide, blogger

Most Read