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Nov 27,2007
Fraud alleged in upcoming Russian election
by UPI

MOSCOW -- A senior Russian elections official in Moscow alleged Tuesday the United Russia party is using threats to secure a victory in Sunday's national Duma election.

The official who asked not to be identified told The Moscow Times the party is pressuring people in order to double the number of votes the latest opinion polls indicate it will win.

Under Russian election law, the newspaper isn't allowed to publish figures for expected results within seven days of the election.

The official said the party is pressuring bureaucrats, doctors, teachers and other state-paid workers to find 10 people each to vote for the party, with threats of professional retaliation if they fail.

Oleg Kovalyov, a senior party official, denied the claim.

"These are just rumors our political enemies love to spread," Kovalyov said.

A spokeswoman for the Central Elections Commission, Viktoria Galanina, told the Times staff would be vigilant during the voting.

"No vote rigging will be allowed," she said.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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