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Russian election observers from Africa share impressions

The government aids every vulnerable person, including the disabled and the elderly, in exercising their right to vote, Edson Rugumayo from Uganda told RT

Russia ensures that all citizens have the opportunity vote in presidential elections, Ugandan election observer and member of the country’s parliament Edson Rugumayo has noted in an exclusive interview with RT.

Rugumayo was commenting on the Russian presidential elections, which took place between March 15 and 17, stressing how the electoral commission had assisted vulnerable individuals in exercising their right to vote.

“If it [the citizen] is an elderly person, if it is a disabled person, they can still exercise their right to democracy by making sure that the ballot box is taken to them, and their vote will be guaranteed and delivered,” Rugumayo said.

He believes there’s much to learn from the Russian voting system, “especially the integration of e-voting into the democracy.”

The voting stations have demonstrated their transparency; they are covered by CCTV cameras 24 hours a day, the Ugandan election observer pointed out. 

Talking about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech prior to election day, the observer claimed the country’s leader “was not championing anything.” 

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“He [Vladimir Putin] says this is an opportunity for you to vote for the candidate of your choice and exercise your freedom,” Rugumayo added.

Another observer at Russia’s 2024 presidential elections, Elizabeth Wangari Njuguna, who leads the women’s wing of the Nairobi Entrepreneurship Community in Kenya, noted that e-voting had helped to prevent the long lines she has seen in Kenya’s elections.

Njuguna told RT about the voting process for people with disabilities. “There are portable ballot boxes that are taken home for those people who are disabled and unable to go to the polling station.”

“I was fortunate enough to actually see one re-brought back with the votes cast, and the lady cut the seal and took the votes out and packed them in a sealed – she sealed them and put them in the safe. It was transparent, I have a video with it,” she stated.

Gabonese election observer Christian Bongo, who heads his nation’s Housing Guarantee Fund, pointed out that Russian poll workers were doing their duty in “calm and without any pressure.”

He stated that when it comes to the Western critics, we “never hear anything good about Russia …[or] … about Putin.” The West has a “Russophobic ideology, this narrative that’s been pushed by the politicians and by their press as well.”

Bonga University President Petros Woldegiorgis from Ethiopia, another one of 1,000 international election observers from 105 countries, said Russian elections are “extremely surprising … well planned …[and] well organized.”

Vladimir Putin has secured 87.3% of the vote with almost all ballots counted, winning his fifth term in office amid a record-high turnout of over 74% of Russia’s 112.3 million voters, according to the Central Election Commission.

March 18, 2024 at 04:42PM

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