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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Communists Demand Dismissals After Disputed Vote

The Communist Party, returning to the State Duma after a weeklong boycott, demanded that the Central Elections Commission chief and the leader of the Marii-El republic be fired over disputed Oct. 11 elections.

The party also called for the establishment of presidential and parliamentary commissions to examine electoral violations, free television airtime for all Duma deputies and changes to the election law to prevent "criminal elements" from winning office.

"We will not allow our votes to be stolen," Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov told the Duma.

He said his party would discuss all of its proposals at a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday.

The Communist Party wants the "immediate dismissal" of Marii-El leader Leonid Markelov, who "led the republic out of the legal field," and the dismissal of Central Elections Commission chief Vladimir Churov, who "does not fulfill his duties," Zyuganov said.

The Communist Party also demanded special airtime on regional television channels for Duma deputies from parties other than United Russia and said the election law should be amended to only allow votes for party lists to prevent "criminal elements" from joining parties.

Zyuganov said his party would lead nationwide rallies against election fraud starting Thursday and ending Nov. 7.

The Communist, Liberal Democratic and Just Russia factions walked out of the parliament Oct. 14 to protest the Oct. 11 elections. LDPR and Just Russia rejoined the parliament Friday.

LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said Wednesday that his party did "not accept election results across the country" and demanded the dismissal of governors who have been in office for 10 years or more.

Elections were held in 75 of Russia’s 83 regions, including in Moscow, where United Russia won 32 of the 35 seats in the City Duma. The Communists won the other three seats.

The new Moscow City Duma deputies were sworn into office Wednesday.