Russia’s election chief declines to resign

Moscow, Jan 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The head of Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC), Vladimir Churov has said he will not resign despite demands by many critics following claims of rigged vote during the December parliamentary elections.

‘I already promised to give all answers to this question in four years,’ Churov told the Ekho Moskvy radio Thursday. His term of office ends in four years.

Asked what he would do should the country’s leadership ask him to resign, the CEC chief said: ‘We will discuss it when they ask.’

Churov, 58, was dubbed ‘wizard’ after the Dec 4 State Duma elections that critics claimed had been slanted in favour of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin-led ruling United Russia party.

Tens of thousands of people protested the results, demanding a revote and Churov’s dismissal.

The authorities admitted that there had been certain vote irregularities but denied that violations had substantially affected the results.

He also accused his critics of falsifying video clips showing alleged election violations.

Russia will hold presidential elections March 4, 2012.

Putin pledged in December that nearly all polling places will be equipped with webcams by the time of the presidential elections.

–IANS/RIA Novosti