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Shein files suit to invalidate Astrakhan election results

April 16, 2012, 12:29 UTC+3

In protest against the announced results of the vote, some party activists, including Shein himself, declared a hunger strike

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ASTRAKHAN, April 16 (Itar-Tass) — Ex-Astrakhan mayoral candidate Oleg Shein filed a suit with the Kirovsky district court on Monday to invalidate the mayoral election results, a local law-enforcement source told Itar-Tass.

Shein is planned to fly out for Moscow at 12:00 Moscow time to meet with the Central Election Commission chairman, the source said.

The United Russia Party's candidate Mikhail Stolyarov has been declared the winner of the Astrakhan elections. He gained about 60 percent of the votes.

However, the Just Russia Party claims the elections were won by their candidate Shein, a member of the Astrakhan regional Duma. According to the official data, he gained 30 percent of the votes.

In protest against the announced results of the vote, some party activists, including Shein himself, declared a hunger strike. Later, some opposition activists from Moscow joined them.

The Russian Central Election Commission has stated there are no reasons to invalidate the vote results.

Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov asked Central Election Commission Chairman Vladimir Churov to personally see video-recordings from Astrakhan polling stations. The CEC head said he was ready to see the video-recordings together, and Shein was also invited.

Meanwhile, United Russia's Olga Batalina, deputy head of the State Duma Committee for federative and local self-government affairs, asked the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office to inquire into the attack on the public reception office of the party's chairman Vladimir Putin in Astrakhan.

The legislator believes the attack was not a minor offence, but an act of intentional political vandalism. She recalled blogger Alexei Navalny's confession that he called as a joke for street standing in the daytime and set fire to United Russia's offices at night. After that, the attack was committed on the public reception office, she noted.

"It was said by the one who contends for a place in the country's political system. And it means he must realize that he is responsible not only for himself, but for those he has "tamed" and that after such words, there will be a lot of helpful fans ready to implement the call in reality," the legislator stressed.

"The boys, obviously, have played politics so far that have stopped realizing where are the bounds of what is allowed by the law," she believes.

It will be a good lesson for those who take such calls seriously. "They will joke and forget, and some will be brought to real administrative account for the jokes," she added.

Earlier, some media reported, referring to Just Russia's legislator Dmitry Gudkov, that blogger Navalny was suspected of attacking Putin's public reception office, and a criminal case was opened against him on charges of vandalism.

However, the Interior Ministry denied the information that there was a criminal case against Navalny. The case is opened over the fact, but not against Navalny. No cases were opened against the blogger, the Russian Interior Ministry’s press service explained.


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