News / Europe

Medvedev Orders Probe Of Russian Election Fraud Allegations

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev attends a news conference at Prague Castle, December 8, 2011.
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev attends a news conference at Prague Castle, December 8, 2011.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday ordered an investigation into the allegations of electoral fraud during last week's parliamentary vote.

The announcement came a day after tens of thousands of people rallied in Moscow and other cities to demand the December 4 polls won by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party be annulled and rerun.

In a post on the social media site Facebook, Mr. Medvedev said that "although he does not agree with any slogans or speeches made at the rallies, he has given instructions to check all information from polling station regarding compliance with the election laws."

Within minutes of his statement, Mr. Medvedev had received over 1,000 comments on his Facebook site, most of them angry and some disrespectful.  "Shame!" and "We do not believe you!" were the most common.

Neither the president nor Putin has appeared in public in recent days, as protest organizers sought to harness opposition to the outcome of the polls.  Critics accuse Mr. Putin's ruling United Russia party of complicity in widespread vote rigging and other irregularities.  

Saturday's rallies in Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Far Eastern cities of Khabarovsk and Vladivostok were the largest to hit Russia since the tumultuous 1990s and were largely peaceful.  However, protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg last week triggered a massive police presence and the arrests of hundreds of demonstrators.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Sunday urged Russia's leaders "to hold a dialogue, to avoid violence, and to let the opposition demonstrate and learn the lessons for the organization of the next presidential elections."

Juppe also criticized Putin's plan to return to the presidency by swapping places with Mr. Medvedev.  He said people do not like it very much when one plays with the democratic process.  "To say that I am prime minister and you can have the presidency, and vice-versa, that is something that ends up angering people," Juppe added.  

Last month, Mr. Putin formally accepted his party's nomination to return to the presidency -- a post that analysts have said he is certain to win.  He announced his intentions in September, confirming a deal under which he would appoint President Medvedev as his prime minister.

The planned job swap has angered many in Russia, who said it would strengthen authoritarian rule and clear the way for Mr. Putin to become Russia's longest-serving leader since communist times.

If he regains the presidency, the 59-year-old Mr. Putin could serve two more 6-year terms and remain in power until 2024.  He was first elected president in 2000.

Photo Gallery: Russians Protest Against Putin, for Democracy

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid