'Russia poll results reveal signs of fraud'

Wall Street Journal analysis casts doubt on Putin's United Party majority win, points to statistical anomalies in voter turnout.

Russia anti-Putin protests 311 R (photo credit: REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky )
Russia anti-Putin protests 311 R
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky )
Russia's parliamentary elections results displayed strong signs of fraud, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis published on Wednesday. Experts questioned results giving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party a majority of votes, explaining that statistical anomalies in voter turnout cast doubts on their validity.
The analysis alone is not enough to prove fraud, the analysts said, but when joined with other reports of procedural violations it "provides the first overall picture that any alleged election fraud could be broad in scale."
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Foreign and Russian election observers have reported ‬vote-rigging at the polls, dismissing the validity of results.
Earlier this month, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev decried recent Russian parliamentary elections, according to a BBC report, saying they were rife with fraud and demanding a new vote.
After rallies against the election results drew thousands in Moscow, Gorbachev called on Russia's leaders to admit election fraud and said that the "people's will" was not reflected in the results. "The country's leaders must admit there were numerous falsifications and rigging and the results do not reflect the people's will," the BBC quoted him as saying.
The main international observer mission in Russia said 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 the 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.