Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) will carry out a probe into why over 500,000 people who had received absentee ballots never took part in the December 4 parliamentary elections, the Izvestiya daily reported on Friday citing CEC member Sergei Danilenko.
Earlier, Danilenko told RIA Novosti that over 1,700,000 absentee ballots had been handed to voters, but only 1,260,000 people used them. “We are now analyzing the situation in each constituent member [of the Russian Federation],” Danilenko said.
“We will look into the reasons why people who probably wanted to vote did not do so,” he said. The official did not rule out that some CEC members will go to Russian regions to investigate the matter on the site.
The ruling United Russia party won the State Duma election with nearly 50 percent of the vote, followed by its closest rival, the Communist Party, with 19.2 percent.
Independent observers and critics claimed the vote was slanted in favor of the ruling party and cited ballot stuffing at some polling places. The Russian authorities denied vote rigging and said all possible irregularities will be investigated.
Thousands of people went out to protest the election results across the country following Sunday’s vote, and hundreds were detained. The Moscow City Hall has authorized a 30,000-strong protest rally in the city center, due on Saturday.