The newspaper Moskovsky komsomolets on December 29 quoted allegations by the respected election analyst Aleksandr Sobyanin that the results of December’s parliamentary elections were rigged by as much as 20 percent in favor of the Communist party and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic party. Sobyanin, who hit the headlines two years ago when he alleged that the results of the December 1993 referendum on the Russian constitution had been rigged to show "yes" instead of "no," now claims that as many as 13 million of the 107.5 million votes in last month’s general elections were fraudulently counted.
Moskovsky komsomolets quotes Sobyanin as alleging, "many votes were added to the Zyuganovites in the Tambov, Pskov, Smolensk, Lipetsk, Ulyanovsk, Bryansk, Volgograd, and Penza oblasts, where the Communists allegedly polled up to two-thirds of the vote." International observers gave Russia’s parliamentary elections a clean bill of health last month. They acknowledged, however, that they were able to monitor only the actual campaigning and vote-casting and could not be on hand everywhere to watch the votes being counted. Prior to the elections, Zhirinovsky predicted massive electoral fraud, but said its purpose would be to reduce his party’s electoral support from its true level of 40 percent to 20 percent. (1)
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