Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/22 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/22 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/22 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/22 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/22 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/20 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/22 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/20 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/22 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/22 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/20 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/22 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/22 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Afp

Intimidation, reports of ballot stuffing in Russia poll

By AFP
media Russia's presidential election is expected to return Vladimir Putin for a record fourth term AFP

David Sepashvili went to Russia's mountainous Dagestan region to work in a polling station and prevent violations in Sunday's presidential election, but said a group of thugs physically stopped him from doing his job.

About 50 muscular men entered polling station 1126 in the city of Makhachkala and assaulted the independent observer stationed there before telling Sepashvili to get outside too, leaving the ballot box unobserved.

"They filled the entire station, blocked the ballot box in a line," Sepashvili, who sits on the station's election commission representing opposition candidate Grigory Yavlinsky, told AFP by phone.

The observer working at the station tried to reach the box to prevent ballot stuffing, but the men "knocked him on the ground, kicked him, and then carried him outside" before telling Sepashvili to leave the premises.

"I went to the policeman at the station, but he said he can't do anything because he doesn't have a weapon," Sepashvili said.

A video of the incident shows flowerpots in the polling station knocked over in the heat of the altercation as shouting is heard.

A man in a sweatshirt is then seen dropping ballots in the box.

The men then went to another station where a similar assault took place, Sepashvili said. "We will demand that the results at the station are annulled."

He added that regional election officials made it possible for absentee voters to cast ballots several times with multiple absentee certificates.

Dagestan, like neighbouring Chechnya, traditionally registers extremely high official turnout figures.

- 'Unprecedented' violations -

Russian opposition and independent observers have reported "unprecedented" violations in the election that is expected to give President Vladimir Putin a record fourth term.

They include alleged ballot stuffing and repeat voting, although officials dismissed most concerns by saying monitors misinterpret what they see.

Golos, the independent election monitoring association, said it registered 859 possible violations by 1200 GMT on its tracking website, along with over 2,000 calls on its hotline.

It said one observer staged an experiment with a new system that allows citizens to vote anywhere in the country by getting an absentee certificate, and successfully voted twice in Moscow at two different polling stations.

Alexei Navalny, Putin's top critic, is overseeing a campaign for a boycott and sent over 33,000 observers across the country with manual counters to see how official turnout figures differ from those of monitors.

He said at briefing in his Moscow headquarters that in some regions up to 18 percent of his observers have been removed from polling stations.

"Why? Because (the observers) are successful, and if they are not removed the authorities will not be able to show the turnout that they want."

He said there were "unprecedented violations" being reported by observers trained by his campaign, including ballot stuffing and suspicious organised voting in groups, and people being forced to vote by their employers.

Russia's Central Election Commission chief Ella Pamfilova said observers "don't interpret some situations accurately," promising to address concerns about organised voting later in the day.

Putin's election campaign spokesman Andrei Kondrashov said many reports of violations were "fake" and aimed at "discrediting the election."

Golos said ballot stuffing is "the most popular violation".

"Such cases are recorded by cameras at the stations but this doesn't stop the falsification."

A video of a polling station in the Moscow suburb of Lyubertsy showed two women methodically stuffing the ballot box with papers handed to them by one of the poll workers.

Kommersant newspaper reported that the urn in question has been sealed and the head of the polling station has been dismissed.

 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.