Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called for a new vote in Russia today after continued allegations of voter fraud.
Thousands protested against the election results that many said were rigged in favor of Vladair Putin’s party. Hundreds of the protesters were arrested.
The AP reported:
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Russian authorities should annul the results of the parliamentary vote and hold a new one, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev urged Wednesday as popular indignation grew over widespread allegations of election fraud.
The call for an entirely new vote by the last president of the Soviet Union was a remarkable development for an election that had not generated much interest during the campaign. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had wanted to see his United Russia party do well to pave the way for his return to the presidency, but few Russians seemed to care about the vote, with many saying they assumed the results would be manipulated anyway.
United Russia won less than 50 percent of Sunday’s vote, a steep fall from the 64 percent it won four years ago. But opposition parties and independent observers say even that result was inflated by vote-rigging, including alleged ballot-box stuffing and false voter rolls.
Gorbachev told the Interfax news agency that authorities must hold a fresh election or deal with a rising tide of discontent.