Communists to Rally Against Vote Dec. 22
- By Unknown
- Dec. 10 2007 00:00
Communist supporters will take to the streets in several cities Dec. 22 to protest the Dec. 2 elections, in which United Russia, led by President Vladimir Putin, garnered 64.3 percent of the vote, first deputy party leader Ivan Melnikov said.
"We have noted that there was falsification all across the country in these elections," Melnikov said Friday at a news conference, Interfax reported.
The regions in question include Chechnya, Ingushetia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Dagestan and Mordovia, Melnikov said. In Chechnya, 99.5 percent of voters went to the polls, with United Russia receiving 99.36 of the vote, according to the Central Elections Commission's web site. This was the highest vote for United Russia in the country.
The elections commission announced Thursday that the final tally had United Russia with 64.3 percent and the Communists with 11.57 percent. The Liberal Democratic Party captured 8.14 percent, while 7.74 percent voted for A Just Russia.
The Communists are planning to appeal to the Central Elections Commission and file a suit with the Supreme Court to have the election declared invalid, Melnikov said.
The Communists mounted a similar legal challenge after the previous Duma elections, in 2003, and lost.
The Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, denounced U.S. criticism of the recent elections as a product of prejudice that could hurt relations. "Russians spoke out in favor of stability, of a strong and sovereign Russia pursuing an independent line in international affairs," it said in a statement. "Apparently this does not please some people across the ocean who believed that the world after the 'Cold War' would develop in the way that would be prescribed from Washington."
The ministry was responding largely to remarks by David Kramer, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state, who told the BBC on Dec. 3 that the United States had "serious concerns about the campaign," including "intimidation of the political opposition" and the use of levers of state power, such as the media, in favor of United Russia.