20 Sep 2021, 20:14

Kremlin hails 'open and honest' parliamentary vote

  MOSCOW, Sept 20, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - The Kremlin on Monday said weekend 
parliamentary elections in Russia had been open, competitive and honest, 
after the opposition decried the vote as rigged.

   "The competitiveness, openness and honesty of the elections were and are 
the most important thing for the president," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov 
told reporters.

   Peskov acknowledged that the Communist Party -- who many Russians voted 
for to express dissatisfaction with the authorities -- improved its results 
in the election, calling it a sign of the competitiveness of the country's 
electoral system.

   But he added: "At the same time we see that United Russia is the main 
preference of the voters."

   "The party faced the task of reaffirming its leadership; this task was 
certainly fulfilled," Peskov added.

   With 95 percent of votes counted by 1000 GMT on Monday, United Russia was 
ahead with 49.6 percent of the vote followed by the Communist Party with 19.2 

   The ruling party's share of the vote was down from 54.2 percent in the 
last parliamentary election in 2016, while the Communists saw their support 
grow from 13.3 percent.

   Allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said the vote was being 
falsified on a massive scale, pointing especially to repeated delays in 
releasing the results of electronic voting in opposition-friendly Moscow.

   Peskov said he could not comment on electronic voting and referred all 
questions to the Central Election Commission.

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