MOSCOW, Sep 22 (Reuters) – State election observers will check the results of the online vote in Moscow that tilted the result in several districts in favor of the ruling United Russia party in last week’s parliamentary elections , the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.
The election was the first major Russian ballot where people could vote online in certain locations instead of using paper ballots. About 2 million Muscovites voted online and some 1.7 million ballots were cast.
Opponents of United Russia, which backs President Vladimir Putin, said that before the results of the online vote were announced, several opposition candidates were on track to win their constituencies.
After the online tally was added, United Russia candidates swept the vote across the city of 13 million people, sparking accusations of fraud from the opposition. Read more
Interfax quoted Alexei Venediktov, the head of a Moscow state election monitoring group, as saying his employees would review the results of the vote online and publish all the data.
“It will not be a recount but an audit,” deputy head of the monitoring group, Maxim Bure, told Govorit Moskva radio station.
The oversight group reports to a public council whose members are appointed by the city’s mayor and legislature, and some are elected by other members.
Allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny waged a tactical voting campaign during the election aimed at consolidating support for opposition candidates. Navalny’s allies were themselves prevented from standing.
The US State Department said electoral conditions had not been conducive to free and fair procedures. Britain and the European Union have also criticized the process.
Election officials said they canceled all results at polling stations where there were obvious irregularities and the overall contest was fair.
United Russia has won more than two-thirds of the seats in the lower house of the State Duma parliament, which will allow it to continue pushing through laws without having to depend on other parties.
Report by Olzhas Asezov; Editing by Alison Williams
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