Regions to Decide Individually on Webcams for Elections

The Central Elections Commission says it will leave it to individual regions to decide whether to use webcams prompted by the disputed 2011 Duma elections for this September's single voting day.

The final decision on whether to use webcams for vote monitoring will be made by local election commissions after the elections are scheduled, Stanislav Vavilov, deputy head of the Central Election Commission, said at a meeting on Wednesday, Interfax reported.

The newly introduced single voting day, created at the initiative of President Vladimir Putin last October, combines regional and municipal elections into a single day. Up until now, they were held separately, in March and October.

This year's single voting day will see top officials of 7 regions elected, with 41 of 64 registered political parties electable to the legislature, Leonid Ivlev, another deputy head of the commission, said.

Putin ordered web cameras to be installed at all polling stations during elections following the disputed December 2011 parliamentary elections. In those elections, then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party won 238 seats in the 450-seat State Duma.

The election sparked mass protests as thousands took to the streets, accusing Putin's party of rigging the elections. The protesters called for a re-count of the vote, a demand rejected by the Kremlin.