Gorbachev calls for new Russian elections amid anti-Putin protests

Ex-Soviet leader urges officials to admit to vote-rigging

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has called for the results of Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Russia to be thrown out and for another vote to be held. Speaking with the Interfax news agency, Gorbachev said it’s becoming increasingly clear that the public doesn’t trust the election results. “I believe that ignoring public opinion discredits the authorities and destabilizes the situation,” he said. His comments come after two days of protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in both cities, where they’ve been met by tens of thousands of riot police and troops from Russia’s interior ministry, the British newspaper the Guardian reported on Wednesday. According to the official tally, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party earned less than 50 per cent of the votes in Sunday’s election, indicating a significant drop in support. Even still, international observers and opposition parties contend the vote was rigged, pointing to reports of fraudulent voter lists and ballot-box stuffing. Gorbachev also addressed these allegations, urging government officials to admit that “there have been numerous falsifications.”

The Guardian 

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