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Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:11 AM


Putin Loyalists Win Russian Local Elections [View all]

By MAX SEDDON, Associated Press 1 day ago

MOSCOW (AP) President Vladimir Putin's loyalists swept to victory in most local election races held across Russia, preliminary results showed Monday, while independent observers said the vote was openly rigged. The independent monitoring organization Golos estimated that as many as half of the votes for the Kremlin party in one Siberian city may have been falsified.

The Central Election Commission's results showed Kremlin-backed candidates and incumbent governors won all five gubernatorial races held Sunday. The Kremlin party, United Russia, also dominated mayoral races and those for local legislatures held in 77 of Russia's 83 regions.

Observers from Golos recorded more than 1,000 violations nationwide, including voter roll irregularities and multiple voting.

"No one is ashamed of anything anymore," Golos deputy head Grigory Melkonyants said. "We have open and transparent violations of the law, and nobody in government is doing anything about it."



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