Democracy à la Caucasus

Putin Rule of Law

By Mikael Storsjö 

The frauds in the Russian parliamentary elections December 2 were more obvious than ever before.  Garry Kasparov made a statement that these elections were the “dirtiest” in the nation’s history, and he added The fact is, they’re not just rigging the vote. They’re raping the democratic system“. The pre-election harassments of the opposition and the complete governance of Kremlin in the media were not enough to secure the victory in figures big enough for those in power.

The allegations include a disproportionate share of absentee ballots used in polling places, voting numerous times by visiting different polling stations, ballot stuffing and machinations involving electronic ballot counting machines, campaigning at polling centers, voter bribery, and ballots in the ballot box before voting began. Not surprisingly, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly and other European organizations stated that the elections were ‘not fair’.

The opposition has filed a big number of complaints to the Central Election Commission, using evidence such as video recording of a local electoral commission voting on behalf of soldiers in the election zone No 730 in Moscow.

Nevertheless, the chairman of the Central Election Commission, Vladimir Churov, told Russian television he knew of “no serious violations in the course of polling day“.  And Putin thanked the Commission for the “highly professional work” done during the campaign season of the State Duma elections.

Absurdity in Caucasus

According to a proverb, there are differences in degree also in the hell. In these elections, the real face of Russian “democracy” is shown in Caucasus. Here the lackeys are so eager to please their Kremlin masters, that the puppets’ actions are like a Christmas present to those being critical to the Russian Potemkin village of democracy.

In Chechnya, an outlandish 99.2 % voter turnout was registered and 99.4 % of Chechen votes went to Putin’s ruling party United Russia!  Kadyrov stated that “this is an answer to the question of confidence in us“, not noting how absurd and totally ludicrous the results are for the legitimacy of the Russian parliament. Apparently, the Mujahideen came down from the mountains in order to vote for Putin? According to independent observers, the real voting turnout in Chechnya was some 15-20 %, and mostly just state workers were taking part, as reported by Chechnya Weekly.

The rest of Caucasus was not left very far behind Chechnya. The official turnout numbers were similarly “impressive” – 98 % in Ingushetia, 97 % in Kabardino-Balkaria and 94 % in Karachaevo-Cherkessia and 92 % in Dagestan.

Ingushetiya.ru reveals the fraud

The proprietor Magomed Yevloev of the Ingushetiya.ru website announced that only 6-8 % of Ingushetia’s eligible voters turned out for elections. The Ingush puppet president Murat Zyazikov replied in an interview in Kommersant, that such accusations are “nonsense,” adding that the turnout was “massive“.

However, ingushetiya.ru didn’t leave the contradictory views just to the level of a war of words. The web site started a campaign of collecting testimonies by Ingush people under the motto “I didn’t vote“.

The participants file complaints to the Attorney-general of Ingushetia, stating:

“I have not participated in the elections to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russian Federation, on December 2, 2007. Now it has become known, that someone at the polling station with my disapproval has got a ballot paper and used it for voting, which constitutes a flagrant violation of my constitutional rights and election laws.

I ask you to conduct an investigation upon this fact and to take steps to bring those guilty of the falsification to the responsibility provided by law.”

The statement is signed and includes the passport number of the complainant.

There are 163.000 people entitled to vote in Ingushetia. Officially 98 % of these voted. However – by December 23 ingushetiya.ru had got 57 898 complaints, which is 36 % of all voters in Ingushetia! And the campaign is still continuing.

Musa Evloev, the chairman of the Ingush election commission calls this campaignreal stupidity and nonsense” and advice the protesters “it is better to go and get prepared for the New Year“.

If there won’t be established any proper investigation about the fraud, the complainants plan to bring this issue to the European Court of Human Rights. If this is legally possible, we might face a very interesting situation within a few years – an ECHR verdict outlawing the Duma elections, and demanding the Russian government to pay compensation to the complainants.

President Zyazikov and his puppet government has had strained relations to ingushetiya.ru already for some time. Zyazikov has made several unsuccessful attempts to eliminate the web site, using charges such as “incitement of racial hatred” etc. The director and owner of the site, Magomed Yevloyev, has also accused Murat Zyazikov for attempted murder:

“I knew that Zyazikov would go to any lengths to close the site. The fact alone that he ordered my assassination says a lot. I am telling Murat Zyazikov that the sum of US $50,000 paid for my assassination was voluntarily handed over to me by the would-be killer, and it has been used for the good of the people of Ingushetiya – with it were bought some of the computers as part of the charitable programme ‘People’s Computer’.”

Mikael Storsjö.

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