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Putin critic Khodorkovsky warns of election rigging in Russia

dpa
Moscow
Shortly before parliamentary elections in Russia, outspoken critic of the Kremlin Mikhail Khodorkovsky has warned about the possibility of results being falsified.
Neither opposition members nor independent observers would be allowed, both of which would be needed to make the September 17-19 vote a real election, said Khodorkovsky, who lives in exile in Britain.
How the population really feels about the power apparatus will not become clear “because the results of the vote will be falsified,” the politician and former oil executive told radio station Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) on Monday.
The scientific director of the independent polling institute Levada Centre, Lev Gudkov, complained that no opinion poll results have been allowed to be published.
Khodorkovsky said he himself would not vote “because it is pointless.” The 58-year-old served many years in prison camps as an opponent of President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin leader “spits” on the Duma election, he said, adding that he did not care who won because parliament no longer had any power.

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