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14 Mar, 2024 11:27

Russians warned of attempts to disrupt presidential election

While ‘provocations’ are expected, they won’t upset the voting, election commission head Ella Pamfilova has assured
Russians warned of attempts to disrupt presidential election

Russia is aware of potential “provocations” both abroad and domestically aimed at disrupting the upcoming presidential election, Central Electoral Commission (CEC) chairwoman Ella Pamfilova said on Thursday. The official assured, however, that such challenges will not compromise the election.

Voting will begin on Friday and will run through Sunday. Incumbent President Vladimir Putin, who is seeking a fifth term in office, is being opposed by three candidates: Nikolay Kharitonov from the Communist party, Vladislav Davankov of the New People party, and Leonid Slutsky of the Liberal Democrats.

“We know for sure… that a whole series of provocations will take place where our citizens will vote... We can handle it. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last,” Pamfilova said while addressing the CEC.

According to the official, this is the first time that the presidential election in Russia is being held “in such a toxic international atmosphere.” She noted that the commission had registered some 12 million cyber-attacks against its infrastructure ahead of the upcoming vote, while Russian voters abroad have been facing pressure not to take part in the election.

“[The voting] is taking place in the context of an unprecedented cynical violation of the rights of ordinary Russian citizens. Yes, all sorts of sanctions target high-ranking officials, politicians, statesmen. But what do ordinary citizens have to do with this?” Pamfilova stated.

We see unprecedented violations of the rights of Russian citizens, including restrictions of their voting rights, in Western countries, which have designated us as an enemy.

She added, however, that Moscow has “foreseen all of this” and established alternative infrastructure for people wishing to vote.

“The [electoral] system is ready, it is fully armed… We’ve created an incredibly stable system resistant to any external challenges,” she stated.

According to CEC data, more than 113 million ballots have already been delivered to polling stations ahead of the vote. Overseas voting will take place at 288 stations in 144 countries. Early voting has already taken place in several remote regions of Russia, with 2 million people having already cast ballots.