A group of Russian parliamentary candidates said Thursday they are uniting to abolish electronic voting and called for nationwide rallies to protest the results of last weekend’s elections.
Russia’s opposition has raised questions over the election results’ legitimacy after the ruling, pro-Kremlin United Russia party won a landslide victory and took every district in Moscow. E-voting results reversed opposition candidates' early leads secured in the offline vote and Kremlin-endorsed candidates saw huge swings in their favor and won every district after online votes were tallied.
“On Sept. 17-19, 2021, millions of citizens of our country were robbed of their votes,” reads the coalition committee’s statement posted by human rights activist Marina Litvinovich, a candidate from the liberal Yabloko party who came in fourth in Moscow’s 198th district.
The committee’s statement said it will seek to cancel Moscow’s e-voting results, ban the use of online voting in future elections and fight against "other methods of electoral fraud."
The committee also plans to stage a nationwide protest against the election results, it said, but didn’t announce a date for the protest.
The statement’s signatories included Litvinovich and fellow Yabloko candidate Sergei Mitrokhin; Communist Party candidates Mikhail Lobanov, Valery Rashkin and Sergei Obukhov; and independent candidate Roman Yuneman, whose bid to register as a candidate was rejected by the Moscow Election Commission.
Following the statement’s publication, police officers visited Litvinovich’s and Lobanov’s residences to warn them that any unauthorized protests would be illegal, the independent Dozhd broadcaster reported.
Earlier this week, a Communist Party official said that it also would not recognize the e-voting results after they reversed its candidates’ strong leads in offline voting.
Moscow election officials on Thursday said they found no evidence of wrongdoing in the online voting after a technical recount of the votes.