Chechnya returns Kremlin-backed candidate

Chechnya has returned a Kremlin-backed candidate as its sole representative to the Russian parliament in suspicious circumstances.

    The election saw a suspiciously high turnout of voters

    Akhmar Zavgayev - closely associated with the republic's recently-elected President Akhmad Kadyrov - won 57.7% of the vote, reports

    said on Monday.

    His closest competitor polled 12.7% of the vote in an election which saw a turnout of 83.46%.

    There was, however, some confusion over the exact turnout with some reports on Sunday saying that Zavgayev had polled 100% of the

    vote before Itar-Tass corrected the figure.

    The agency did not give details on the discrepancy between Sunday's and Monday's reported figures.

    The reported turnout of 83.46% was far higher than the estimated 53% that showed up at polling stations across Russia as a whole.

    In Chechnya's previous two elections this year - a referendum in March and a presidential poll in October - results had a distinct Soviet-

    era flavour.

    In October, Moscow-backed Kadyrov won 81.1% of the vote on a reported turnout of 83.46% while the republic's capital Grozny was

    almost deserted on voting day.

    SOURCE: AFP


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