Putin said at a meeting with supporters Tuesday that the presidential election must be an honest test of public support. He added that he doesn’t need any vote-rigging.
Putin’s authority has been dented by a parliamentary election in which his party lost 25 percent of seats and barely retained its majority despite vote-rigging in its favor. The vote fraud triggered the largest protests Russia has seen since the Soviet collapse 20 years ago, with tens of thousands demanding an end to Putin’s 12-year rule.
Putin again firmly rejected the protesters’ demand for a rerun of the parliamentary vote, saying "there can’t be any talk about reviewing it."