MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party maintained its tight grip on the nation's parliament in three-day elections criticized by opposition parties and independent observers for ballot stuffing and tampering, according to election results announced by the Central Election Commission.
So what made the election dubious? The opposition was banned from social media, and there was voting over 3 days!
The three-day elections took place against the background of a sweeping crackdown on the opposition, human rights activists and independent journalists.By contract, Donald Trump has been banned from Facebook and Twitter, American Jan. 6 political protesters are being held in jail without bail, and the recent California governor recall voting took place over 30 days. The in-person polling sites opened 10 days before election day.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in jail. His electoral network was declared an extremist organization in June and effectively banned. Its leaders, other opposition figures, human rights activists, human rights lawyers and independent journalists have been arrested or fled the country. Dozens of opposition candidates were barred from running or withdrew.
With voting over three days, independent observers and opposition figures complained that in many cases ballots were not properly secured during the nights. Russian social media was flooded with videos of blatant ballot stuffing and thugs intimidating observers and independent journalists.
Opposition candidates complained of cases where observers were denied access to polling stations by officials or were pushed away by unidentified thugs or arrested by police.