Rigging is a delicate art

"In the past few decades I have always participated in elections held in this country despite my hatred for the regime, because I always believed in reform," a member of the Iranian opposition told the Guardian from Tehran, asking not to be named for fear of reprisal. "But after the events in 2009 I finally gave up and sat at home this time."

Human Rights Watch, a New-York based organisation that has closely monitored the situation of activists and campaigners in Iran, issued a statement on Thursday, warning that a fair vote was impossible in the country. "Iran's parliamentary elections … will be grossly unfair," HRW said. "[It] follows the disqualification of hundreds of candidates based on vague and ill-defined criteria, and opposition leaders are either barred from participating, serving unjust prison sentences, or refusing to participate in what they consider sham elections." guardian

You choose!
Four days before the presidential elections in Russia, REN TV a pro-Kremlin television channel warned what life would be like without Vladimir Putin. The doomsday scenario goes like this: crowds rejoice in Moscow's Sakharov Avenue as the Duma and presidential elections are cancelled; a provisional government is formed and to the victors go the spoils – Boris Nemtsov takes over Gazprom, Alexei Navalny's wife the foreign trade bank. Russia's nuclear arsenal is handed over to the US. Economic crisis soon erupts. Thousands of companies go bust. The provisional government closes Avtovaz, the giant motor works in Tolyatti. Riots and ethnic clashes break out in major cities. Kaliningrad, Tatarstan, Bashkiria and Yakutia secede. The republics of the North Caucasus set up an Islamic state. Civil war erupts. Georgia retakes South Ossetia. Navalny flees to the US, but not without a Nobel prize for his pains. The clip ends: "Russia without Putin? You choose." guardian

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