Fraud claims cloud Putin party win in Russian elections Jaime Jansen at 6:58 AM ET
[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin's United Russia [party website, in Russian] party won parliamentary elections Sunday amid claims of vote-rigging and fraud. United Russia won 64.1 percent of the vote according to preliminary results, far ahead of the Communist Party challenger with 11 percent of the votes. Election observers from the Council of Europe (CoE) [official website] and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) [official website] said the elections were "not held on a level playing field" in a joint statement [text] delivered by OSCE President Gordan Lennmarker. The CoE and OSCE noted special concern over a strong media bias [NYT report] towards Putin and the United Russia party leading up to the election, widespread reports of harassment of opposition parties, and a new election code that made it more difficult for smaller political parties go gain the seven percent of the vote necessary to serve on the State Duma. They also called Putin's merging of the state with the United Russia party an abuse of power.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.