Dmitry Peskov told the AFP news agency: “Even if you add up all this so-called evidence, it accounts for just over 0.5 percent of the total number of votes.
“So even if hypothetically you recognise that they are being contested in court, then in any case, this can in no way affect the question of the vote’s legitimacy or the overall results.”
His comments followed an order from President Dmitry Medvedev for election authorities to look into reports of vote-fixing after the ruling party’s narrow victory sparked the largest protest rallies since the 1990s. Mr Medvedev was roundly humiliated however after his Facebook page, in which he posted a message denouncing Saturday’s 50,000-strong rally in Moscow, was flooded by protesters criticising the Russian president.
The post, which came on the same day that the controversial head of the elections commission avoided an attempt to remove him, sparked disbelief and disgust and within two hours more than 3,500 people had posted comments, the vast majority overwhelmingly negative.
Mr Medvedev used the Facebook message to announce he had ordered an investigation into violations at the Russian parliamentary elections. He used the same post however to criticise Saturday’s demonstration – the biggest protest in Russia since the end of the Soviet Union.
“People have the right to express their views which is what they did yesterday,” wrote Mr Medvedev. “I don’t agree with the slogans or the declaration that rang out at the meetings. Nevertheless, instructions have been given by me to check all information from polling stations regarding compliance with the legislation on elections.”
Saturday’s crowds had directed their anger at Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is expected to become president again in March. The movement has sprung up spontaneously as mainly young Russians express disgust at what they see as blatant election fraud and a lack of political freedom.