Central Election Commission chief Vladimir Churov said on Ekho Moskvy radio that he intends to serve the remaining four years of his term. He dismissed observers’ statements that the Dec. 4 vote was manipulated to allow Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s party retain its majority in parliament, and tried to turn the tables on his critics, accusing them of forging their evidence.
The allegations of vote violations sparked Russia’s largest anti-government protests in two decades and have hurt Putin’s bid to extend his 12-year rule by reclaiming the presidency in another election in March.
Tens of thousands protesters in Moscow and other Russian cities demanded Churov’s dismissal. Churov said Thursday that his commission is looking into the alleged violations, but claimed that footage that showed ballot-stuffing and other fraud was doctored.