Russia's pro-Putin political party gains seats in parliament despite claims of election fraud

Russia's ruling United Russia party, which supports President Vladimir Putin, retained its parliamentary majority after an election marred by claims of election fraud, as well as a crackdown on government critics.

Updated: September 20, 2021 - 5:06pm

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The ruling party of Russia, which supports President Vladimir Putin, is expected to retain a veto-proof majority within the Russian legislature. This reported result comes as the international community casts doubt on the legitimacy of the election process.

According to the New York Times, with over 98% of the votes counted, the election commission announced that the United Russia party received just over 50% of the vote, down from 54% in the 2016 legislative elections, according to official results. 

Across Russia, there have been thousands of reports of ballot stuffing, forced voting and votes being counted multiple times. Despite these allegations, the election authority says all fraudulent votes have been annulled. 

Voting was held over three days across the country, which many critics say made it nearly impossible to monitor the voting process.

Moreover, concerns have been raised about new software which allows people to vote online. This new software only allows voters with a mobile phone to cast their ballot, which many say disenfranchises vast populations of Russia.

Despite the dubious election results, officials are not expecting to see mass protests after a crackdown by the Russian government last spring discouraged many from voicing their opinion. 

So far, the Biden administration has not acknowledged the outcome of the Russian election.