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    Russian Communist leader says parliamentary polls were rigged

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    The leader of Russia's Communist Party has said that Sunday's parliamentary polls that handed pro-Kremlin United Russia an overwhelming victory had been rigged "in 20 different ways".

    MOSCOW, December 3 (RIA Novosti) - The leader of Russia's Communist Party has said that Sunday's parliamentary polls that handed pro-Kremlin United Russia an overwhelming victory had been rigged "in 20 different ways".

    With 98% of votes counted, United Russia has received 64.1%, the Communist Party 11.6%, the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party 8.2%, and the loyalist A Just Russia 7.8%.

    "Under Yeltsin, there were only two ways to steal peoples' votes - through intimidation and simply writing in the convenient result. This group has come up with 20 ways of humiliating the people," Gennady Zyuganov said.

    These methods, he said, include abolishing the "none of the above" option in voting lists, increasing the election threshold from 5% to 7%, canceling the minimum voter turnout requirement, and stacking United Russia's candidate list with high-profile figures.

    President Vladimir Putin announced in October that he would head United Russia's candidate list, while St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko and Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov led the party's regional candidate list.

    "None these governors and mayors will take seats in the State Duma," Zyuganov said.

    Indeed, following the polls, Matviyenko said she had no plans to take a seat in the lower house.

    In some regions, he said, regional authorities had issued 40-50 times more absentee ballots than during the previous campaigns.

    "This will all boomerang," Zyuganov said. "The nation will not stand for the authorities wiping their feet on them."

    He also said that the candidate list of the other main parties had been coordinated with the Kremlin, saying that the actions of the authorities amounted to "violence".

    The Communist leader also said that he had no plans to enter into a coalition with any of the other parties that had overcome the 7% election threshold. "We have nothing in common," he said.

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