Russia’s voting declared corrupted
What is to be done about it? Whose business is this?
Vlad is back.
Russians are a tough lot, don’t you think. It has to do with the cold, I believe.
Russians overthrew a Royal regime and replaced it with a brand of socialism that was their invention. They embarked on a grand experiment to try communism.
The trouble is, they got totalitarianism all mixed up with the notion of sharing for the common good.
I love America’s brand of democracy and freedom and hope other nations will discover what we have. In the mean time, the transition and nature of what people are to become is left to many variables unique to their culture.
Seeing Putin back seems most abnormal.
“'Serious problems' with vote that kept Vladimir Putin in power, monitors say
Vladimir Putin easily wins a third-term presidency despite massive street protests and allegations of fraud. NBC's Jim Maceda reports.
By msnbc.com news services
Updated at 5:41 a.m. ET: MOSCOW -- Russia's presidential election was clearly skewed in favor of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, international vote monitors said in a report on Monday.
"There was no real competition and abuse of government resources ensured that the ultimate winner of the election was never in doubt," Tonino Picula, one of the vote monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, said in a statement.
Monitors cited "serious problems" with the vote and called for alleged electoral violations in Sunday's election to be thoroughly investigated.
Golos, Russia's leading independent elections watchdog, earlier said it had registered at least 3,100 reports of violations nationwide.
Golos cited received numerous reports of "carousel voting," in which busloads of voters are driven around to cast ballots multiple times.
The Central Elections Commission said Putin got more than 63 percent of the nationwide vote. However, Golos said that incomplete reports from its observers of individual polling station counts indicate Putin hovered perilously close to the 50-percent mark needed for a first-round victory.
Accounts of extensive vote-rigging looked set to strengthen the resolve of opposition forces whose unprecedented protests in recent months have posed the first serious challenge to Putin's heavy-handed rule.
Putin said the presidential election had prevented Russia from falling into the hands of enemies. Complaining of widespread fraud, his opponents said they would rally near the Kremlin on Monday night.
His eyes brimming with tears, the former KGB spy defiantly proclaimed to a sea of supporters that they had triumphed over opponents intent on "destroying Russia's statehood and usurping power."
Putin's win was never in doubt as many across the vast country still see him as a guarantor of stability and the defender of a strong Russia against a hostile world, an image he has carefully cultivated during 12 years in power.
Putin claimed victory Sunday night when fewer than a quarter of the votes had been counted. He spoke to a rally just outside the Kremlin walls of tens of thousands of supporters, many of them government workers or employees of state-owned companies who had been ordered to attend.
"I promised that we would win and we have won!" Putin shouted to the flag-waving crowd. "We have won in an open and honest struggle."
He ended his speech with the triumphant declaration: "Glory to Russia!"
Putin was president from 2000 until 2008, before moving into the prime minister's office due to term limits.
Putin, 59, is on collision course with the mainly middle-class protesters who have staged rallies in the capital and other big cities since since December.
The wave of protests began after a parliamentary election in which observers produced evidence of widespread vote fraud. Protest rallies in Moscow drew tens of thousands in the largest outburst of public anger in post-Soviet Russia, demonstrating growing exasperation with the pervasive corruption and tight controls over political life under Putin.
The protest organizers, who see Putin as an autocratic leader whose return to power will stymie hope of economic and political reforms, said their demonstrations would now grow.”