Putin's party expected to keep control of lower house amid fraud complaints

Putin's party expected to keep control of lower house amid fraud complaints
© Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Hot mic catches Queen criticizing 'irritating' climate inaction Putin directs sexist remark at US anchor Navalny, Afghan women among those under consideration for EU human rights prize MORE’s political party, United Russia, is expected to retain control of parliament’s lower house with 45 percent of the vote, The Washington Post reported, citing exit polls on Sunday.

Opposition parties and other individuals said the election was beset by censorship, intimidation and ballot-stuffing, as has become routine in Russian elections. 

However, an Interior Ministry official said there were no electoral violations that would have seriously affected parliamentary elections, according to the Post. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Similar assurances were made by Ella Pamfilova, chief of Russia's Central Elections Commission, who said electoral violations were lower in these parliamentary elections compared to previous elections, the Post reported.

Despite this, opposition groups and others allege that there was widespread fraud, including tampering and ballot-stuffing amid months of oppositional clampdown.

Golos, an independent vote-monitoring group, said that there may have been almost 3,800 instances of electoral violations, including vote-buying and ballot-stuffing, according to the Post.

Among some of Golos’s additional concerns included observers being intimidated, the short three-day timeline for voting, a lack of surveillance where ballots were being stored and tampering with vote-associated materials.

The opposition network of Alexey Navalny also complained of their voting materials being blocked on social media sites, the Post reported. The network tried to steer some voters away from United Russia candidates by creating a “Smart Voting” list

YouTube reportedly blocked access to "Smart Voting" videos and documentation. Similar “Smart Voting” apps were blocked by Google and Apple stores in the country.

“Today is the day your vote really matters,” the network wrote in a post under Navalny's Instagram account, according to the Post. “Because today is the day that each of us can be especially efficient in convincing the doubters.”

Official election results are slated to be announced on Monday.

The Hill has reached out to Apple, Google and YouTube for comment.