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LDPR Faction Storms Out of Russian Parliament After Squabble

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR).

The State Duma's LDPR faction, led by nationalist rabble-rouser Vladimir Zhirinovsky, stormed out of the parliament's plenary session Wednesday after a squabble with colleagues from the United Russia ruling party about the results of the regional elections that took place Sunday, Russian media reported Wednesday.

Zhirinovsky condemned the results of the election in the Amur region, where Alexander Kozlov from United Russia was elected governor with just over 50 percent of the vote, and Ivan Abramov, a candidate put forward by the LDPR party, came second with 28 percent of the votes.

Zhirinovsky insisted Abramov had won, saying the results of the election in the region were doctored. Some of the deputies present argued with him, and he reacted abruptly to their answers, calling one of them — United Russia member Irina Rodnina — “shameless,” the RBC news agency reported Wednesday.

Another member of United Russia, Nikolai Bulayev, called on Zhirinovsky to apologize to Rodnina, but instead of apologizing Zhirinovsky and all the other members of his faction left the auditorium.

“We left the plenary session auditorium in protest against the vote count in the Amur region. They should create a [special] commission, and the CEC [Central Election Commission] should recount the votes and hold a second round [of voting]. It [the decision to leave the plenary session] wasn’t about Rodnina,” Igor Lebedev, deputy speaker of the State Duma and a member of LDPR, was cited by RBC as saying Wednesday.

Earlier this week Zhirinovsky claimed the results of the votes were rigged in the Amur, Arkhangelsk and Irkutsk regions, as well as in the republic of Marii-El. In the Amur and Arkhangelsk regions, according to him, LDPR candidates won the elections, while in the Irkutsk region and the republic of Marii-El candidates put forward by the Communist Party had in fact won the majority of the votes.

“The computers crashed overnight in the regions where the rigging took place,” he was cited by RBC as saying. Zhirinovsky also expressed doubt that Abramov had failed to attract support in rural areas of the Amur region. “[Residents of] rural areas always vote for us,” he claimed.

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