4 March 2012, 13:20

Russian voting transparency praised

Russian voting transparency praised

Foreign observers have praised the openness and transparency of Russia’s presidential election.  ONLINE UPDATES FOR THE VOTING PROCESS AND TURNOUT Elisabetta Gardini, an observer from the European Parliament, has told reporters that she visited two polling stations on Sunday and was impressed by what she saw.

Foreign observers have praised the openness and transparency of Russia’s presidential election. 

ONLINE UPDATES FOR THE VOTING PROCESS AND TURNOUT

Elisabetta Gardini, an observer from the European Parliament, has told reporters that she visited two polling stations on Sunday and was impressed by what she saw. 

She said she found the webcam experiment very interesting and that she was eager to see its results. 

An independent UK observer, Alan Richardson, echoed that the web cameras were a good way to rule out fraud and that Britain should also try it. 

Another European observer, Viktor Uspasskikh, said he had visited 11 polling stations he himself had chosen and saw nothing wrong.

FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS EARLY RESULTS AS OF 9 P.M. MOSCOW TIME VISIT THE VOICE OF RUSSIA`S WEBSITE.

For the first time in the country’s post-Soviet history the head of state is being elected for a six-year term. Five candidates are standing for the post.

These are the incumbent Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the heads of the three parliamentary opposition parties Gennady Zyuganov, Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Sergei Mironov and one self-nominee, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

Their names on the ballot sheets are arranged in alphabetical order. Despite tough competition, the election race had on the whole been calm.

With 200,000 web cameras installed at polling stations, this will be Russia’s most transparent election ever.

About 700,000 international observers are overseeing the voting process on the sites and more than a million registered web users will watch them online.

Voting in presidential elections in Russia`s Far East is over, with counting already under way in Kamchatka, Chukotka, Kolyma, Magadan district, in the South Kurils, in Sakhalin, in Khabarovsk, and in the Jewish Autonomous oblast.

Local election commissions say the turnout in the Russian east was about 57%.

Meanwhile, early results will be unveiled only after all polling stations are closed at 9 p.m. Moscow time. 

As of 10 p.m. Moscow time, turnout was reported at more than 15%.

Some 700 international observers are monitoring the elections.

For the first time, the president will be elected for 6 years.

There are five candidates running for the presidency: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal-Democratic Party, Sergei Mironov of A Just Russia, and independent candidate, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

Observers hail transparency of Russia's presidential vote 

Foreign observers have praised the openness and transparency of Russia’s presidential election. 

Elisabetta Gardini, an observer from the European Parliament, has told reporters that she visited two polling stations on Sunday and was impressed by what she saw. 

She said she found the webcam experiment very interesting and that she was keen to see its results. 

An independent UK observer, Alan Richardson, echoed that the web cameras were a good way to rule out fraud and that Britain should also try it. 

Another European observer, Viktor Uspasskikh, said he had visited 11 polling stations he himself had chosen and saw nothing wrong.

Rostelecom copes with voting transmission

The web channels transmitting Sunday’s voting live from polling stations in Russia are successfully coping with the flood of web users, Alexander Provotorov, Chief Executive Officer of Rostelecom, the company in charge of the online transmission, has told reporters.

More than 1.35 million users registered at the webvybory2012.ru portal, he said. Rostelecom’s call-center will work round-the-clock, receiving calls from users and district electoral commissions about the quality of transmission.

Rostelecom engineering staff provides on-site equipment control and maintenance at each polling station. If online transmission is interrupted for a while, video recording continues nonstop.

About 200,000 web cameras were installed at 91,000 polling stations across the country.

PM Putin votes at the election 

Russian PM and his wife Ludmilla walked into voting station No. 2079 in the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow today to cast their ballots in the presidential election. 

Media flocked to the polling station to cover this story. 

Putin told the journalists he hoped for a high turnout rate.

Prokhorov votes in Krasnoyarsk

The only independent Russian presidential candidate, Mikhail Prokhorov, was among the first to take to the polling station in the Krasnoyarsk region, Prokhorov’s representative Sergei Kim told Interfax-Sibir.

According to Sergei Kim, Prokhorov is now heading to Moscow.

Zhirinovsky casts his vote

Russian presidential contender Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party took to the polling station at secondary school No.1438 in Moscow Ochakovo-Matveyevskoye district today to cast his ballot at the presidential election.

Voters’ good mood is the best signal of the right choice, Vladimir Zhirinovsky said after casting his vote before the journalists.

The Liberal-Democratic chief also promised to visit some election commissions during the vote processing later this day.

Mironov takes to voting station

Russian presidential candidate Sergei Mironov of the Fair Russia Party has cast his ballot, Ria-Novosti report.

Mironov appeared at voting station No. 1234 in Maly Kislovsky Lane in Moscow, wher he talked to the observers.

The presidential hopeful noted that CCTV cameras will monitor all Russian polling stations during the vote counting to rule out any election fraud.

Zyuganov Votes for ‘Prosperous’ Russia

Presidential candidate and Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said on Sunday he was voting for an “educated and prosperous” Russia as he cast his ballot in the presidential elections.

“I personally voted for a Russia that is educated, healthy, intelligent and prosperous. I want Russian citizens to feel they are people and not serfs. I am confident that a good future lies ahead of Russia,” Zyuganov said after he voted at a polling station in Moscow.

Zyuganov said, however, that the Communists had started to register some election violations already.

He also said a higher turnout at the elections would ensure stricter control over the results, which would increase the probability of a second round vote.

Last December’s parliamentary elections in Russia triggered mass protests over alleged vote fraud in favor of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party.

The Communist leader said street protests would be held on Monday after the presidential elections.

“There will be a lot of street actions and requests to hold rallies have already been submitted, but I am calling on everyone to show restraint and comply with the law,” he said.

President Medvedev casts ballot

Acting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cast his ballot at the country’s presidential election today.

At around noon, Dmitry Medvedev arrived at a polling station in western Moscow together with his wife Svetlana, filled in the ballot and cast it into the electronic ballot box.

Before their arrival, the voting station was inspected by OSCE and SCO monitors. Ten candidate appointed observers were also present at the station.

No special measures were taken as to barring the polling station for the general public.

No unrest in Russia amid presidential election

There have been no reports of unrest during the ongoing presidential election in Russia today, Russian foreign ministry said.

380 policepeople, aided by 30 thousand volunteers, are ensuring security in the country. Police have been deployed at every polling station.

Before the election, the Moscow police carried out the so-called “preventive measures,” bolstering control over the capital’s vital facilities, including its underground.

Additional police forces will be drawn up from Russia’s central regions to tighten security ahead of the anticipated mass demonstrations in Moscow on March 5.

Overseas voters cast ballots in Russian polls

Russians citizens abroad are turning out in large numbers at overseas polling stations as voting continues in Sunday’s presidential election. It began in New Zealand, Australia and Japan and will end in San Francisco on the U.S. Pacific coast.

More than 380 polling stations were organized in 147 countries, including in the Norwegian town of Stavanger where 84 Russians work and also in Taipei on Taiwan.

Many Russians overseas have been able to cast their ballots ahead of March 4 thanks to the early voting system.

The early voting turnout was the highest in Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, Latvia and Kyrgyzstan.

For the first time, early voting reached out to Russian geologists in Angola, Russian tourists in the Dominican Republic and Russian personnel in South Sudan.

Public Chamber observers praise March 4 vote technology

Some 30 reports on violations during today`s presidential elections in Russia were submitted to the Public Chamber and are currently being checked, a member of the chamber Georgy Fedotov told Interfax.

He said that the reports did not contain any major violations. Some election propaganda leaflets were found at a polling station in Chechnya and were immediately removed.

The Public Chamber observers agree that comparing with the parliamentary vote in December, today`s elections are better organized, with webcams installed at all polling stations, allowing registered users watch the election online.

Russian presidential election makes it into Twitter trends

The Russian presidential election has made it into the Twitter Trends, a collection of the most hotly discussed topics on Twitter microblogs, statistics say.

The #elections2012 tag appeared in the Trends at around 11a.m. Moscow time (GMT+3).

Only words mentioned more than ten to twenty thousand times on Twitter are featured in the Trends collection.

Most vote rigging reports are fake - Public Chamber official

“Most reports on violations during today’s presidential elections are fake”, a member of the Public Chamber, Maksim Mishchenko, said, adding that vote rigging is being reported mainly by the League of Voters and observers supporting Yabloko party.

All reports are immediately checked using webcams installed at all polling stations across Russia.

Violations were reported in Russia’s Far East, in the republic of Khakasiya, in Altay and Kemerovo districts.

“Some observers say the turnout is low, while others claim that it is very high”, Mishchenko said.

Voting goes on-screen

A wall of 20 TV screens was unveiled on Saturday at the Central Electoral Commission headquarters in Moscow to offer live feeds from six Russian regions randomly selected by the operator.

The TV screens are already showing voters lining up at polling stations in Chukotka and Magadan.

Johan Beckman, a political analyst from Finland, hailed the idea of fitting out polling places with web cameras as a major breakthrough in the history of democratic elections.

(RIAN, TASS, Interfax)

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