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Medvedev to ‘Check Procedures’ Amid Alleged Poll Violations

Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said accusations of fraud that led to large protests following last weekend’s parliamentary elections should be investigated.

Medvedev’s call, which echoes a similar statement he made on Dec. 6, follows nationwide protests yesterday when tens of thousands gathered in Moscow to demonstrate against alleged electoral fraud.

“People have a right to express their position which they did yesterday,” Medvedev said on his Facebook page today. “I do not agree with any slogans or statements made at rallies. Nevertheless, I have been instructed to check the procedures with the polling stations regarding compliance with the legislation on elections.”

Twenty-five thousand people gathered in central Moscow yesterday in near-freezing temperatures. There were no detentions or violence, police said. Several thousand demonstrated in St. Petersburg and more than 15,000 in about 30 other cities across the world’s biggest country by area, RIA Novosti reported.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the continent’s democracy watchdog, the U.S., Germany and the European Union criticized alleged violations during the Dec. 4 vote.

In Moscow, Europe’s largest city, the official results gave Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party more than 46 percent of the vote, compared with 27.5 percent in an exit poll by the Public Opinion Foundation.

Medvedev’s human-rights council said it was “extremely concerned” about fraud complaints against the parliamentary poll and the vote should be repeated if the violations were serious enough to alter the results, according to a statement on the panel’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Corcoran in Moscow at jcorcoran13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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