Forget transparent ballot boxes or election monitoring. A member of Russia’s League of Voters has posted a taped interview with a former polling station head who says that despite the country’s growing protest movement this year’s presidential elections are set to be anything but free and fair.
In the 25 minute-long interview, Irina Kolpakova described her experience as the head of a polling station in Russia’s southwestern Samara region. She says she was asked by her superiors to adjust the results from the country’s December 4 parliamentary elections to ensure Russia’s communist party would not win in her precinct.
Kolpakova also said that she will not be working at her polling station during the country’s March 4 presidential ballot, because she refuses to follow instructions to rig the elections in favour of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is seeking a third term as president. According to Kolpakova, election commission authorities have suggested poll workers to “adjust” results so that Putin wins in the first round with 70 percent of the vote.
Kolpakova was interviewed by Sergei Tuchina, a League of Voters coordinator in the Samara region. The League of Voters was founded on January 18 as an offshoot of Russia’s burgeoning protest movement for free and fair elections, and aims to coordinate and encourage collaboration among independent groups for a more “honest” Russia.