Google and Apple remove the electoral application of the Russian opposition

Parliamentary elections in Russia: a polling station in Moscow.

Photo: cornerstone

in a Russia A new parliament will be elected from Friday to Sunday. At the beginning of the parliamentary elections in Russia, Internet companies google browser And An apple The application for the protest vote procedure for the “smart vote” of the opposition has been removed from its systems.

This was announced Friday by the team of imprisoned Kremlin rival Alexei Navalny, who developed this method to break the monopoly on power of the Kremlin party, United Russia. Voting lasts three days.

The “smart vote” procedure, also controversial among the opposition, stipulates that voters must vote for any candidate – with the exception of the Kremlin’s United Russia candidate. Now Nawalani’s supporters are now campaigning to reach voters via Telegram and Youtube.

Ivan Zhdanov, a confidant of Navalny, criticized Google and Apple for removing the app from stores in Russia. He wrote in the SMS service that companies are violating basic human rights Twitter. The linked homepage has been blocked in Russia for days. The authorities also prevented Internet search engines “Google” and “Yandex” from displaying the term “smart voting” in search results.

“unprecedented” pressure

Apple and Google justified deleting the app with “unprecedented” pressure from Moscow. Informed circles of the tech giants said the Russian government has threatened employee arrests and widespread legal retaliation. In fact, the Kremlin had already asked companies weeks ago to remove products from maritime organizations classified as “extremist” and other service providers critical of the government. The Russian watchdog Roskomnadzor also threatened Google and Apple with criminal prosecution and heavy fines.

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As of Sunday, about 110 million people were invited to vote on the formation of the new State Duma. In many regions, regional and civil parliaments are elected at the same time. The United Russia party in the Kremlin wants to defend its absolute majority in the State Duma. For the first time, it is also possible to vote electronically in some regions of Russia. (dhr/sda/dpa)

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