Chechnya Vote-rigging Highlighted Anew

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 1

The rigging of elections in Akhmad Kadyrov’s Chechnya has long since ceased to be a surprise. The latest example: Russia’s election authorities now admit that the number of votes counted there and in Ingushetia for the December 7 parliamentary elections was actually greater than the number of citizens formally registered to vote. Aleksandr Veshnyakov, head of the federal election commission, stated that the gap was 11 percent. correspondent Ilya Ferapontov commented in a December 27 article that the disparity shows “massive falsification of the election results.”

Kadyrov’s press secretary Abdulbek Vakhaev denied that implication, claiming that the high turnout was the result of a “very energetic migration” back into the country by former refugees. But Ferapontov noted that people who are not listed on the voter rolls “simply do not have the right to receive ballots” under Russia’s election laws.

Chechnya and Ingushetia were not the only areas reporting more “voters” than the number of eligible citizens; similar, though smaller, disparities were found in the Moscow and Kaluga oblasts.