Communists see red over alleged electoral fraud; In Soviet days they regularly took over 99 percent of the vote.
Russia’s Communist Party filed multiple lawsuits Wednesday to contest parliamentary election results from online voting in Moscow, which party members allege was rigged and blame for their defeat in races in the Russian capital.
The party, which placed second nationally in this month’s election, usually toes the Kremlin’s line but already had engaged in an active effort to invalidate the disputed Moscow returns. Senior party members organized street protests and joined a coalition of Kremlin critics that also is trying to annul the capital’s results from online balloting, an option that was available to voters in the Russian capital and several other regions.
The moves prompted authorities to detain a number of Communist Party members — pressure typically put on supporters of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny and not the second-biggest political force in Russia’s parliament.
Election results two weeks ago made the Kremlin’s United Russia party the winner. United Russia received 49.8% of the vote for the 225 seats apportioned by parties and won 198 out of 225 seats for lawmakers who are chosen directly by voters. Together, the results gave the party a supermajority with 324 of the 450 seats in parliament.
The Communist Party came in second with 57 seats — an increase from the 2016 election. However, candidates put forward by the party lost 15 races in single-constituency districts in Moscow and blamed their defeat on the online balloting, alleging that it was rigged.
Russian election authorities have denied the accusations.
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