Putin praises Russia’s webcam network

March 5, 2012 11:30 am 

MOSCOW, March 5 — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday expressed satisfaction over the performance of the network of webcams at the majority of polling stations in Russia, even as he stressed the use of the system in the future.

On an order from Putin, web cameras have been installed at 91,000 of Russia's 96,000 polling stations to guarantee transparency for the vote. The webcam installation campaign followed claims by critics that the December 4 parliamentary elections in Russia were marred by vote rigging.

“This is impressive. We should make use of it in the future,” Putin said. “I’m glad it was not in vain.”

Vladimir Churov, who heads Russia’s Central Election Commission, said the quality of image from polling station webcams and the overall performance of the webcast system surpassed his expectations.

“The quality is well above my expectations,” Russia’s top election official told journalists. “The system’s performance was better than we initially expected.”

Sergei Ivanov, who heads the Kremlin administration, said the elections in Russia were “sterile,” with all possible violations theoretically being able to influence only 0.03 percent of the vote.

"I lived in the West for quite a long period and I have never seen such sterile elections,” Ivanov said. “Of course, [the intensity of opposition’s activity] should decrease,” he said.

State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said the elections showed “the growth of our people’s political awareness and the understanding by our citizens that the elections is one of the key moments in our political life.”

“I think that no one has grounds to say that the elections were unfair,” Naryshkin said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel. (PNA/RIA Novosti)



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