Clinton has 'serious concerns' on Russia vote

International election monitor saves poll was slanted, was marred by manipulation, ballot box stuffing.

By REUTERS
December 5, 2011 17:16
1 minute read.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [file]

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool)

 
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday she had "serious concerns" about the conduct of Russia's parliamentary elections and Russians deserved a full investigation of all reported irregularities.

Speaking on the sidelines of an international conference on Afghanistan, Clinton added in remarks to reporters that she was troubled by reports that the Russian Golos election monitor had suffered cyber attacks.

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The main international observer mission in Russia said Monday that the parliamentary election was unfairly slanted in favor of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling party and marred by apparent manipulations including ballot box stuffing.

The campaign for Sunday's election was marked by "limited political competition and a lack of fairness," observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly said.

The vote count "was characterized by frequent procedural violations and instances of apparent manipulation, including several serious indications of ballot box stuffing," the monitors said in their preliminary report.

A nearly complete vote count indicated Putin's United Russia party won 49.5 percent, enough to secure 238 of the 450 seats in the State Duma lower house, the Central Election Commission said -- a loss of 77 seats it held in the outgoing Duma.

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