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Moscow Region Election Chief Resigns Under Pressure

Irek Vildanov

The head of the Moscow region’s electoral commission, Irek Vildanov, has resigned amidst mounting pressure over alleged voting violations, the Vedomosti news website reported Wednesday.

Russia’s Central Elections Commission (CEC) announced their “lack of confidence” in Vildanov in a resolution published on their website, the Interfax news agency reported. The announcement encouraged Vildanov to step down from his post early, saying that his work was “not of an appropriate quality” and posed a risk to the commission’s work.

In April, the CEC ordered local authorities to annul election results from the town of Barkivha, 25km east of the capital, due to apparent voting violations.

The group’s report said that the incident was the third case of “irregular voting activity” in the Moscow area in recent months.

The document also asked Moscow region governor Andrei Vorobyov to introduce stricter measures to ensure fair elections. He was also asked to “hold accountable” anyone found guilty of breaking existing election legislation.

Ella Pamfilova, the current head of the CEC, was appointed in March. She has spoken out against the level of public “negativity and distrust” towards elections, even promising to resign if upcoming elections are judged unfair.

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