Gorbachev opposes changes in Russian election law

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Moscow, Dec 22 (UNI) Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said he did not support the recent changes to election law adopted by the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.

''I think they made a mistake,'' Gorbachev said yesterday while speaking at the opening of a photographic exhibition in the Central Election Commission.

However, he added that the election legislation needed to be improved.

The December 2 parliamentary elections were held according to new election legislation, which saw the threshold for entry to the State Duma raised from five to seven per cent, and also cancelled the ''against all'' option and minimum voter turnout requirements.

At the parliamentary elections, United Russia, whose candidate list was headed by President Vladimir Putin, won 64 per cent of vote.

A joint statement by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe said earlier the December 2 election ''was not fair and failed to meet many OSCE and Council of Europe commitments and standards for democratic elections.'' Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the OSCE statement as ''baseless.'' UNI

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