US, European Union Condemn Parliamentary Elections in Russia

The United States said Monday that a law against “extremism” in Russia prevents opposition parties from getting a fair chance in parliamentary elections.

“The Act’s use of declaring “extremist organizations,” “foreign agents,” and “unwanted organizations” severely limits political pluralism and prevents Russians from exercising their civil and political rights,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. in a statement Monday (20/9).

“In addition, we do not recognize the holding of Russian elections on Ukrainian territory and affirm our strong support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine,” Price added.

President Vladimir Putin’s party claimed a landslide victory in the election. Many politicians who support jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny are barred from running.

Britain also said Monday that barring opposition politicians from running for office, and intimidating voters, was inconsistent with Russia’s international commitment to free and fair elections.

“Attempts by the Russian authorities to marginalize civil society, silence independent media and exclude opposition candidates from participating in elections, undermine political plurality and run counter to the international commitments Russia has made,” the British Foreign Office said in a statement Monday. 9).

Within Russia, many candidates in parties in opposition to Putin’s party claim that the election was rigged. In at least 15 districts, the opposition candidates who initially excelled in the tally ended up losing when the electronic votes were counted. [vm/ka]

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