Connect to share and comment

Business Insider: Russia election fraud?

YouTube video purports to document signature fraud in Moscow.

This video shows a political activist and a radio reporter entering a room entering a room reportedly at Moscow State University of Transportation. Inside, a number of young men and women appear to be seated filling out forms. When asked what they are doing, none of the men and women respond. Eventually the activist and reporter are forced from the room.

WATCH:

The video was uploaded to YouTube two days ago and has since become hugely important in Russia.

Its creators says that the video shows students at the University working from a database to forge huge numbers of signatures. These signatures are apparently to be used to get Dmitry Mezentsev, a pro-Kremlin politician, onto the ballot for March's upcoming presidential election.

This illegal method of collecting signatures appears to be becoming the norm in Putin's Russia — a result of a strict system that requires a huge amount of signatures in an incredibly short period of time.

Journalist Masha Gessen, writing for the New York Times, puts it as:

"In other words, the system is so restrictive that virtually the only way to get on the ballot is to “draw up signatures,” as the young people in the video appear to be doing, and have them rubber-stamped by election officials."

Mezentsev has told Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy that the event was just "training", though the activists that filmed the video have given various explanations for why this cannot be true.

Analysts suspect that while Vladimir Putin is widely expected to win the election, Mezentsev may be being planted as a "back up" candidate for the Kremlin, the Guardian reports.

Please follow Europe on Twitter and Facebook.
Follow Adam Taylor on Twitter.
Ask Adam A Question

More from our partner Business Insider:

Business Insider: The EU Has Threatened Legal Action Against Hungary For That Controversial New Constitution

Business Insider: Guess Which Country Has The Best Paid Politicians In Europe

Business Insider: 20 Incredible Facts About The New Rulers Of The Italian Criminal Underworld

Business Insider: Germany’s Export Debacle Could Lead It Into A Recession

Business Insider: Check The Ridiculous Theory That Could Reveal The Next Russian Leader

Original Source URL: 
http://www.businessinsider.com/dimitry-mezentsev-fraud-election-putin-2012-1

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/120111/business-insider-apparent-fraud-russia-presidential-elect