Contradicting opinions over lawfulness of Russian elections

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By Louise Miner
Contradicting opinions over lawfulness of Russian elections

Opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin alleged that voters are being compelled to show up at polling stations.

An opposition politician Aleksey Navalniy, who has been barred from the race says the election is biased, "We recorded, broadcasted and distributed on the internet facts about unprecedented violations in this election. People across the country are being brought to polling stations. You see that the turnout for the first time in the history of elections in Russia is switched to the morning. So, it means that the main Russian voters arrived at the polling stations at eight in the morning. It's unlikely that any normal person could say that this is a normal voting process. All are simply driven to the polls. We understand that these are the real re-elections of Putin."

The officials say though the vote will be fair and any fraud will be stamped out. They also say those alleging the election was rigged were biased against Russia.

Meanwhile, Denis is an election monitor at the Moscow polling station, for candidate Ksenia Sobchak's camp and he said, "At this point, everything is going by the law."

Jan Petersen, OSCE Ambassador and head of OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission said, "I can assure you that we have been observing throughout the Russian Federation, on important issues, like how it is administered (the election); how the legal framework is; the media situation; how the campaign is going. So it is important to underline, elections are much more than just election day."

Kremlin officials privately acknowledge some voters are reluctant to show up and vote, even if they support Putin, because they believe his victory is already a foregone conclusion.