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Russian election committee confirms fraud

  |   May 11, 2012 at 10:30 AM
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MOSCOW, May 11 (UPI) -- Roughly 17 percent of the complaints registered with Russian election officials over the March presidential contest were confirmed, authorities said.

Vladimir Putin secured a third non-consecutive term in office during March presidential elections.

Sergei Danilenko, a Russian election official, said Friday 268 of the 1,564 complaints registered by the Central Election Commission "were confirmed," reports Russia's state-run news service RIA Novosti.

Election monitors in December suggested State Duma elections were skewed in favor of Putin's political party, United Russia. Similar concerns were expressed in a March election that secured Putin's third term in office.

Members of a presidential Human Rights Council later resigned in protest of Putin's re-election, complaining he is "an illegitimate president."

Putin, before his inauguration this week, said he was in favor of term limits, though the country's constitution was amended to extend the presidential term from four years to six years before he formally took office.

Nearly 50,000 demonstrators turned out to protest his inauguration during the weekend. Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said more than 400 demonstrators were arrested.

The Russian Central Election Commission in March certified Putin's 46-percentage-point victory over his closest rival, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov.

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