The videos show that the opposition was unable to observe the counting of votes in the Russian Russian

While the votes were being counted in Russia’s legislative elections on the night of September 20, various representatives of opposition parties were prevented from observing the counting, as authorized by the electoral law.

 

Three videos show one of these representatives demanding to be admitted to a Moscow electoral office, but to no avail. President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party swept the vote, while opposition parties denounce massive electoral fraud.

 

All three videos were posted on the Telegram channel of Mikhail Lobanov, an independent candidate who said he would join the Communist Party if elected. He also posted the first two videos on Twitter.

 

“Members of the committee, open the door, you are committing a crime. We are the representatives of the candidates, ”Denis Zheleznyakov, Mikhail Lobanov’s representative, said over a loudspeaker in the first video.

 

The second video shows the polling station lit up with people inside, but there is no way for the opposition to enter.In the third video, the police ring the bell at the voting station, but there is no response.

 

In total, four representatives, who had come to observe the counting of votes in accordance with Russian law, were unable to enter Electoral College 2645 in the Mozhayskii neighborhood in western Moscow, on the night of September 19 and early in the morning of September. September 20.

 

‘They committed a disastrous violation and these situations are not acceptable during electoral campaigns’  Zheleznyakov, who addressed the members of the electoral commission at the polling station with a speaker, is a 22-year-old student and an official representative of Mikhail Lobanov’s team. He told the JowharObserver team that several other members of the opposition were prevented from accessing the vote count:

 

The situation seemed strange from the beginning: the vote count was long; usually the commission ends around midnight and the commission members refused to let us in.

 

Zheleznyakov was there with a member of Mikhail Lobanov’s campaign team, as well as two members of Yabloko, a social-liberal opposition party. They rang the bell around 5 a.m., while the office was still counting the votes. They then banged on the windows, with no response, as seen in video of the incident.

 

Members of the Yabloko party say they called the police, who also tried to ring the bell, again with no response, and eventually agreed to file a complaint. The four representatives shouted through a megaphone from outside the building, but no one let them in.

 

I think they rigged the votes because they want the members of the ruling party to win. The actions of the commission members were deliberate and intentional. We knew when they opened the doors [Editor’s note: after the representatives had left], they had already counted all the votes, because they had a special report with them showing the final results. They committed a disastrous violation and these situations are not acceptable during election campaigns.

 

Russian law allows candidates to appoint representatives to monitor the voting process in order to avoid any falsification of votes or irregularities between members of the electoral commission. Opposition candidates, who have alleged large-scale fraud in these parliamentary elections, have increased their use of representatives to observe and flag suspected fraud.

 

Suspicions of widespread fraud

Since voting began on September 17, multiple people have shared mostly unverified images showing alleged vote manipulation, such as ballot box filling or people voting through the online system with the name of other people.

 

Yulia Koshelyaeva, a spokeswoman for Lobanov, said that “most [election commission members] he had a direct order to give victory to a certain candidate “because” in Russia, voting takes place in public schools. So naturally most of the committee members are local teachers or other people paid by the government. ”

A Kremlin spokesman said the elections were held “competitively, openly and honestly,” without directly responding to allegations of fraud. The Russian government itself has accused individuals and NGOs of orchestrating the fraud in the run-up to the elections.

JowharObservers attempted to contact Electoral College 2645, but received no response.

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