Retribution against non-voters

Authorities in regions across Russia are taking punitive measures against those who failed to vote in the elections to the State Duma on 2 December 2007. The vote was portrayed as a vote of confidence in President Vladimir Putin, and not voting can be interpreted as a rejection of his policies.

Citizens were warned beforehand that not exercising their right to vote would have consequences for them personally. At many workplaces and universities across the country, managers demand proof of voting. In Ulyanovsk, university staff is looking for the 6% of student dormitory residents who failed to vote.

In Udmurtia, President Aleksandr Volkov dismissed the mayor of Glazov, where Putin’s United Russia only got 41.7% of the vote, while the Communists (KPRF) received 25.2% of votes. The difference between the two parties in elections to the republican parliamant was mere 8%..

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