Putin elected to third term; observers express concern
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
According to the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, Putin received nearly 65% of the vote, placing him vastly ahead of the's nominee for President, , who received 17.18% of the vote.
European observers, including those from the , however, reported that they saw "ballot stuffing and other irregularities" at almost a third of polling stations across the country, and reported that industrial plants may have violated the law by "bussing workers to polling stations."
A spokeswoman for European Union Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton "broadly agrees with reports... that highlighted problems with Sunday's election," and that the European Union will be "encouraging Russia to address these shortcomings."
Valentin Gorbunov, Chairman of the Moscow Election Commission, denies claims that these plants broke the law, saying that it was a normal practice. Additionally, Putin asked that webcams, to be monitored by election officials, be installed in polling stations to increase transparency in the election process.
Among those crying foul are Russian Grandmaster, who accused Putin's party of "massive fraud."
Putin, who has been serving as the country's Prime Minister for the past four years, was forced to not stand in the country'sdue to constitutional limitations which kept him from a third consecutive term.
- "Putin Wins Third Term as Russia's President in Disputed Election" — , March 5, 2012
- Phil Black and Jill Dougherty. "Observers slam Russian vote as Putin declares victory" — , March 5, 2012
- Sebastian Moffett. "EU criticizes shortcomings in Russian election" — , March 5, 2012
- Антон Куликов. "И пусть нам приснится "карусель"..." — , March 4, 2012 (Russian)
- Russian vote webcams show partying" — , March 3, 2012 . "
- "2012 presidential election results" — , March 3, 2012 (Russian)