Vladimir Churov, the head of the Russian Election Commission who was put in the unsavory spot of being labeled the “wizard” of alleged voter fraud in the Dec. 4 Parliamentary elections, looks to be free and clear from impropriety. Churov asked election commission officials to consider a vote to remove himself from his position, but only four out of the 15 commission members voted in favor of even considering the issue in the first place, Ria Novosti reported on Thursday. As a result, without any political pressure from the top at the Kremlin, Churov is safe and sound.
Churov has now survived four attempts to force his resignation. The last three attempts were made by opposition party leaders, namely from the Communist Party, the second largest political party in Russia after United Russia.
Communist Party officials and voters alleged that the ruling United Russia party coerced government employees into voting for the party in the big parliamentary elections on Dec. 4, and even went so far as to stuff ballots with United Russia votes. The day after the election, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the vote “neither fair nor free”, which stung like a slap in the face to presidential candidate Vladimir Putin, the country’s current Prime Minister. Presidential elections take place on March 4.