Communists, observers report violations in Duma election

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MOSCOW (AP) — The head of Russia’s second-largest political party is alleging widespread violations in the election for a new national parliament, in which his party is widely expected to gain seats. Communist Party head Gennady Zyuganov said on Saturday —the second of three days of voting — that police and the national elections commission must respond to reports of “a number of absolutely egregious facts” including ballot-stuffing in several regions. The Golos election-monitoring movement and independent media also reported violations including vote-buying and lax measures for guarding ballots at polling stations. The United Russia party, which is loyal to President Vladimir Putin, appears certain to retain dominance in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.

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