Campaign diary

Navalny shows vote-rigging rife

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Navalny supporter Ilya Pakhomov registers to vote at multiple polling stations

by Sarah Hurst

A volunteer with Alexei Navalny’s campaign has obtained three voter registration slips from different polling stations in Moscow, Navalny said on a video published on Tuesday. Ilya Pakhomov got the slips in the space of 30 minutes and could have got many more if he had wanted to, according to Navalny, who showed footage of Pakhomov’s visits to the polling stations.

Despite the fact that Vladimir Putin is facing his own hand-picked fake opposition candidates in the election on Sunday, he is still making every effort to rig himself a landslide, Navalny said. As in previous elections, buses will take “carousel voters” around to different polling stations to ensure that Putin gets the result he demands. Navalny plans to try and combat this by urging people not to vote and sending thousands of observers to polling stations to monitor the fraud. This is almost certain to result in scuffles and arrests.

Teachers mustn’t participate

Navalny also published a video today asking teachers not to participate in the rigging of the election. Most polling stations are at schools, and in previous elections teachers have been seen stuffing ballot boxes and trying to force observers outside. Teachers are at the end of a chain of corruption that comes down from the Kremlin, but they are still an important link, Navalny said. If they are afraid of consequences for not doing what the Kremlin wants, they should just say that they are ill on election day, he advised.

Navalny drew attention to teachers’ low salaries and the fact that Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev advised teachers to go into business if they want to earn more money. “If you help Putin falsify the turnout in this election you harm yourselves and all Russian citizens,” he concluded. “Our children look to you. Your pupils look to you. The whole country looks to you. And your example will enter the heads of millions. It will define the attitude towards these things for whole generations, for decades ahead. This is impossible to overestimate. We all trust you. You can do this. Refuse to falsify. Don’t participate in this.”

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