STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

The Latest: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny boycotts vote

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he has boycotted the presidential election and is advising other Russians to do the same.

Published: 18th March 2018 07:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2018 07:00 PM   |  A+A-

Russian President Vladimir Putin (File Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

MOSCOW: The Latest on Russia's presidential election (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he has boycotted the presidential election and is advising other Russians to do the same.

Navalny has been barred from the presidential campaign because of a criminal conviction widely seen as politically motivated. He has urged his supporters not to vote because of the absence of any real competition in Sunday's election, which President Vladimir Putin is set to win easily.

Navalny says in a video posted on YouTube that "on election day, one should usually want to say 'I voted,' but in fact I'm here to say that I didn't go to vote."

He criticized the seven contenders challenging Putin for failing to protest ballot stuffing and other irregularities that were tainting the election, saying on his blog that "such candidates aren't worthy of your vote."

___

3:30 p.m.

Russian election officials say they are looking into several incidents of ballot stuffing in the presidential vote.

One incident was recorded in the town of Lyubertsy just outside Moscow. Irina Konovalova, the head of the election commission for the Moscow region, says all ballots in the box were declared invalid.

And in the far eastern town of Artyom a man tossed several ballots into the box, according to Tatiana Gladkhikh, the head of the regional election commission. She says the ballot box was sealed and the man was arrested.

Russia's Central Election Commission also said it was looking into claims of ballot stuffing in Siberia's Kemerovo region.

Independent election observers and activists have alleged numerous incidents of ballot stuffing and other irregularities in Sunday's vote, which President Vladimir Putin is certain to win.

___

2:05 p.m.

Russian opposition presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak has cast her ballot and urged Vladimir Putin's critics to vote instead of boycotting.

Sobchak, a 36-year-old former TV star, told reporters in Moscow that the higher the support for Putin in Sunday's vote, "the tougher the system" Russians will face in his new term.

Sobchak argued against the boycott called for by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is barred from running. She said "every extra percentage point" for Putin is a result of those who refuse or don't bother to vote.

Sobchak called on Putin's critics to "come together."

Critics think Sobchak has the tacit support of the Kremlin so that the election looks more democratic, which she denies. She is the only candidate who has openly criticized Putin in the campaign.

Putin is expected to overwhelmingly win another six years in office.

___

12:15 p.m.

Russia's central election commission says its website was the target of an unsuccessful hacking attempt during Sunday's presidential election.

Commission chair Ella Pamfilova told reporters that it was a DDoS, or distributed denial of service, attempt tracked to computers in 15 countries, without naming them. Such attacks are very common.

She said efforts to disrupt the site occurred when voters in Russia's far east were already casting ballots, but they were deterred by Russian authorities.

As U.S. authorities investigate alleged Russian hacking and other interference in President Donald Trump's 2016 election, Russian authorities have claimed that foreign powers are seeking to interfere in Sunday's vote.

President Vladimir Putin is set to win, and is hoping for high turnout despite widespread apathy. Pamfilova said turnout nationwide at 11 a.m. Moscow time (0800 GMT) was 16.9 percent, up from 12.2 percent at the same time in the last election in 2012.

___

11:45 a.m.

Security forces are surrounding Russian facilities in Ukraine amid anger over the Ukrainian government's refusal to allow ordinary Russians to vote for president.

Ukrainian police are guarding the Russian Embassy in Kiev and consular offices in Odessa and other cities.

The Ukrainian government announced that only Russian diplomatic officials would be allowed to cast ballots in Sunday's vote, which Vladimir Putin is set to win.

Millions of ethnic Russians live in Ukraine but the number of registered Russian voters in Ukraine is unclear.

Ukraine is protesting voting in Crimea, annexed by Russia from Ukraine four years ago. Ukraine is also angry over Russian support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, where a deadly conflict continues.

Russian authorities are appealing to the United Nations and Council of Europe to intervene, according to Russian news agencies.

___

10:15 a.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has cast his ballot in the presidential election, seeking a mandate for a fourth term.

Putin is certain to win in Sunday's election, so voter apathy is widespread. Authorities have spent unprecedented funds to get out the vote to ensure he has a strong mandate for his next six years in office.

Some 145,000 observers are monitoring the voting in the world's largest country, including 1,500 foreigners and representatives from opposition leader Alexei Navalny's political movement.

Navalny himself is barred from running. Putin faces seven challengers but none poses a serious threat.

___

9 a.m.

Election monitors are reporting irregularities at voting stations across Russia in a presidential election whose only open question is how many people cast ballots.

Vladimir Putin is certain to win a fourth term in Sunday's election, so voter apathy is widespread. Authorities have spent unprecedented funds to get out the vote to ensure he has a strong mandate for his next six years in office.

Election monitoring group Golos reported dozens of apparent violations Sunday, from the Russian Far East to Moscow. The problems included multiple ballot boxes placed out of sight of observation cameras, and last-minute voter registration changes likely designed to boost turnout.

Some 145,000 observers are monitoring the voting in the world's largest country, including 1,500 foreigners and representatives from opposition leader Alexei Navalny's political movement.

Navalny himself is barred from running. Putin faces seven challengers but none poses a serious threat.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp