Saturday, 10 December 2011

Russia Bashing

After a decade in power, it’s common for incumbent parties to lose strength. Nonetheless, despite likely coalition agreements on some issues, United Russia remains dominant. Moreover, Putin’s heavily favored to win in 2012.

With near final Duma votes counted, results were:

■ United Russia – 49.67%

■ the Communist Party – 19.15%

■ Just Russia – 13.16%

■ the Liberal Democratic Party – 11.67%

■ Yabloko – 3.21%, and

■ two small parties getting under 1% each.

Under Russian electoral laws, Duma seats are proportionally distributed to parties getting at least 7% of the vote.

Because several didn’t qualify, United Russia maintains a ruling majority. Nonetheless, President Medvedev expressed willingness to have coalition partners, saying:

“We will have to take into account the more complex configuration of the Duma and for some issues we will have to join coalition bloc agreements.”
On December 5, Russia Today ( reported that on election day, a Russian Internet site claimed an alleged United Russia scheme “to conduct an illegal throw-in of ballots at one of the polling stations in Moscow.”

It said “some obscure political specialists had gathered a group of about 40 people, described as ‘drunks and low-lifes,’ and handed them special secret pockets and packs of filled ballots, marked United Russia.”

In fact, three of the 40 were undercover reporters. When the alleged group arrived, they claimed fraud. Other reports about throw-in ballots also surfaced. A top Central Election Commission (CEC) official admitted some violations occurred.

CEC’s Leonid Ivlev mentioned “invisible ink, illegal propaganda, and the so-called ‘merry-go-round’ false voting” by specially prepared people.

However, the invisible ink scheme was uncovered and stopped. “Merry-go-round” fraud was grossly exaggerated. Minor violations only occurred. They’re common everywhere in contrast to major US electoral fraud.

Notably in 2000 and 2004, Democrats Gore and Kerry won popular and electoral college victories, but George Bush became president for eight years illegitimately

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, December 10th, 2011.]

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