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ZEC Declares Russia’s Presidential Election Free, Fair And Credible

3 laptops taken during a break-in at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commision headquarters

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has declared Russia’s three-day (March 15-17) presidential elections, as free, fair, and credible.

The Zimbabwe Election Observer Mission to the 2024 Presidential Elections of the Russian Federation was led by ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Makanyara Chigumba.

There were four presidential candidates, namely Vladislav Davankov (40) of the New People Party, the incumbent Vladimir Putin (71) who stood as an Independent candidate, Leonid Slutsky (56) of the Liberal Democratic Party, and Nikolay Kharitonov (75) of the Communist Party.

Presenting the Zimbabwe Election Observation Mission’s report on the elections in the Russian capital Moscow on Monday, March 18, Chigumba said that the Mission was satisfied with the conduct of the local media as far as reporting of elections is concerned. She added:

Apart from reports by some external media organisations, there is evidence of objective reporting of the activities by the local media that was observed.

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Chigumba commended the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) for the extended period of voting from a day in previous elections to three days in this election, saying it allowed voters to exercise their right to vote at their convenience.

She also said the general atmosphere was very conducive for elections, the mood was relaxed and cheerful as people were exercising their right to vote. Said Chigumba:

This is a clear sign of a mature democracy in which elections are not perceived as a life-and-death activity…

The Mission also commends the CEC for managing the election efficiently and professionally. Therefore, we declare the election free, fair and credible.

Putin secured a resounding victory, obtaining 88.48% of the popular vote. Officials said turnout was greater than 74% in the election.

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ZEC’s decision to send a delegation to observe Russia’s presidential elections has sparked debates over integrity and credibility.

Critics question the impartiality of ZEC’s observations, given allegations of rigging in Zimbabwe’s elections.

The move has raised scepticism both domestically and internationally, as ZEC faces its credibility crisis at home.

Click this link to download the Zimbabwe Election Observer Mission Report on the Russian Federation Presidential Election 15-17 March 2024.

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