The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Parliament regrets that with yesterday’s Duma elections, democratic opposition parties didn’t stand a chance.
Commenting on the outcome of the elections, ALDE Group leader, Guy Verhofstadt, said:
“There were no surprises whatsoever when it comes to yesterday’s Duma elections; only those parties supported by Vladimir Putin, the Russian state and it’s media made it to the Duma.
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With a lower turnout than in 2011, I wonder whether many people have given up hope of free and fair elections. Given the atmosphere of intimidation, harassment and media bias in Putin’s Russia, it’s little wonder that democratic opposition parties are struggling to be heard.
We condemn the so-called elections organised on the territory of illegally annexed Crimea and we will not recognise any of the persons elected in this ballot as representatives of this region, which is part of Ukraine.”
The election monitoring group Golos said it had received reports of over thousand alleged violations, particularly concerning stuffing of ballot boxes.
MEP Hans van Baalen, ALDE spokesman on Russia and Ukraine, added:
„Putin is overseeing the demise of Russian democracy; this will be his legacy. If he was really a strong leader and a man of the people, the Russian President would have enabled free and fair elections, instead of using the apparatus of the state to stifle democratic voices.”