60 percent Russians say Putin victory fair: State poll

March 20th, 2012 - 2:35 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, March 20 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Sixty percent of Russian voters believe the March 4 presidential elections which secured Vladimir Putin a third term in the Kremlin were “open and fair”, a state-controlled pollster said.

But of the 1,600 people polled by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), 21 percent said the elections were neither “free” nor “democratic”.

Putin’s victory in the first round of presidential elections was marred by allegations of vote fraud and state media bias.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the vote was “clearly skewed” in Putin’s favour.

Russian election chief Vladimir Churov called the polls the “most open, honest and transparent” in the world.

But three members of the Kremlin’s council on human rights Monday refused to recognise the elections as “legitimate”.

Rights activists Lyudmila Alekseeva and Svetlana Gannushkina, as well as political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin also said in a statement signed by other leading rights figures that there was “no legal basis” for Putin’s inauguration in May.

Another poll released Monday by the independent Levada Center indicated that a mere eight percent of respondents believe genuine democracy exists in today’s Russia.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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