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Putin's party hangs on, faces vote fraud charges

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party saw its majority in Russia's parliament weaken sharply, according to preliminary election results released Monday, a humiliating setback for the man who has steadily tightened his grip on the nation

(AP) Moscow -- Some opposition politicians and election monitors said even a result of around 50 percent for Putin's United Russia party was inflated because of vote fraud. Their claims were backed by European election observers, who pointed to procedural violations and serious indications of ballot stuffing after a campaign slanted in favor of United Russia.

"To me, this election was like a game in which only some players are allowed to compete," Heidi Tagliavini, the head of the European mission, said at a news conference.

United Russia is still expected to retain its majority in the lower house and Putin is all but certain to win next March's presidential election, but Sunday's vote badly dented his carefully groomed image. It reflected a strong public frustration with the lack of political competition, ubiquitous official corruption and the gap between rich and poor.

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Economy

Post-Pandemic Reflections On The Accumulation Of State Power

The public sector has seen a revival in response to COVID-19. This can be a good thing, but must be checked carefully because history tells us of the risks of too much control in the government's hands.

photo of 2 nurses in india walking past graffiti that says "democracy'

Medical students protesting at Calcutta Medical Collage and Hospital.

Sudipta Das/Pacific Press via ZUMA
Vibhav Mariwala

-Analysis-

NEW DELHI — The COVID-19 pandemic marked the beginning of a period of heightened global tensions, social and economic upheaval and of a sustained increase in state intervention in the economy. Consequently, the state has acquired significant powers in managing people’s personal lives, starting from lockdowns and quarantine measures, to providing stimulus and furlough schemes, and now, the regulation of energy consumption.

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