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Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to take part in a March rally to support his bid in the upcoming presidential election, at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia. Photo by Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters

Putin’s landslide victory lacked ‘genuine competition,’ international observers say

International election observers say Russia’s presidential vote was conducted in an orderly fashion but lacked genuine competition.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s observer mission noted that Sunday’s vote in which Russian President Vladimir Putin won in a landslide “took place in an overly controlled legal and political environment marked by continued pressure on critical voices.”

It said Monday that Russia’s Central Election Commission “administered the election efficiently and openly” and noted that “after intense efforts to promote turnout, citizens voted in significant numbers.”

Observers added, however, that “restrictions on the fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and expression, as well as on candidate registration, have limited the space for political engagement and resulted in a lack of genuine competition.”

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