Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said Wednesday that Russian authorities should hold a new election amid the reports of voter fraud. Gorbachev declared that “more and more people” are saying that the results of Sunday’s election are not fair—and that authorities “must admit there have been numerous falsifications and ballot stuffing.” “I believe ignoring public opinion discredits the authorities and destabilizes the situation,” Gorbachev said. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party won less than 50 percent of Sunday’s vote, but he nonetheless registered to run for the presidency in March. Thousands protested the contested vote in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and more demonstrations are expected Wednesday, along with a pro-Putin rally in Moscow. At least 51,500 Russian police and 2,000 armed Interior Ministry troops have been deployed in Moscow since the election to quell the riots.
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