Author of Duma Fraud Report Resigns

The author of a controversial study alleging that there were mass falsifications in the December 2011 State Duma elections has resigned from his post as director of the Governance and Problem Analysis Center, whose supervisory board is chaired by Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin.

Stepan Sulakshin resigned "of his own accord," center spokeswoman Darya Mazayeva told Kommersant. The think tank's supervisory board approved his resignation, which was filed on March 15, the newspaper reported Tuesday.

Sulakshin said he had no choice but to resign after publishing the report on March 12.

The publication "caused a flow of political insinuations that complicated the work of the center. For this reason, I submitted my resignation," he told the newspaper.

Sulakshin used statistical analysis to demonstrate that United Russia's results were apparently inflated by falsifications on voting day and argued that United Russia actually received 22 percent of the vote and that the Communists garnered roughly 30 percent. The figures contrast considerably with elections officials' vote totals of 49 percent for United Russia and 19 percent for the Communist Party.

The Communists have appealed the results of the Duma vote at the European Court of Human Rights, and the non-parliamentary opposition held a serious of street protests following the December 2011 election alleging violations and calling for a revote.

Mazayeva said the think tank had not expected the report to cause such a large public response.

Vladimir Churov, the country's top elections official, responded to the report by saying that its author should seek psychiatric help.

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