As Head of the Observation Mission of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly, Vice Speaker of the RA National Assembly Eduard Sharmazanov has made some statements that do not correspond to reality.
In his interview to the Russian RIA agency, Sharmazanov officially announced on behalf of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly that the presidential elections in Russia were held in accordance with the requirements of the RF Constitution, in a normal atmosphere, and no violations were recorded.
“Pluralism is ensured, equal conditions have been created for all the candidates, there are no problems for the voters,” said the Vice Speaker of the RA National Assembly.
While Sharmazanov states that the elections were held without violations and equal conditions were ensured, the OSCE / ODIHR Election Observation Mission, which also observed the presidential election in Russia, has issued a different statement with preliminary conclusions on election observation.
In the report comprised of 18 pages, the organization notes that the elections were held in a controlled political and legal atmosphere, the equal competitive field for all the candidates was not ensured, which was due to biased coverage of the activity of the acting president in the Russian media. Besides, the organization has recorded a number of violations related to the principle of secret ballot and transparency of vote count.
It should be reminded that originally 36 presidential candidates had applied to the CEC. However, only 19 of them were allowed to gather signatures (in order to run for president’s office, you need to gather signatures in Russia). The CEC also rejected the registration of the opposition figure Alexei Navalny, after which Navalny appealed to the Supreme Court with a request to cancel the decision, but was rejected again.
The OSCE / ODIHR observation mission also recorded cases of abuse of administrative resources. “Alarms have been received according to which employees, students, prents of schoolchildren were pressured to participate in elections,” the report says.
It should also be added that a number of violations have been recorded by video cameras installed in the polling stations (more details can be found here). Numerous cases of ballot stuffing have also been recorded, the video footages of which are available in the internet.
Thus, we can state that Eduard Sharmazanov’s statement about absence of violations and equal conditions for candidates is far from reality.
It should be reminded that according to the data published by Russia’s CEC, Vladimir Putin has won 76.67% of votes, the communist Pavel Grudinin 11.79%, Vladimir Zhirinovsky 5.66%, Ksenia Sobchak 1.67%.