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Communists Protest Alleged Violations of Electoral Laws

Moscow, July 2 (RFE/RL) -- On the eve of the final round of Russia's presidential elections, campaign officials for Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov are protesting censorship and what they say are violations of the election laws.

Zyuganov's campaign manager, Valentin Kuptsov, told a news conference in Moscow today that the commission was violating the election laws by introducing relaxed voting rules to boost turnout, which is said to favor incumbent President Boris Yeltsin. Kuptsov said the new rules allow voting at airports and railway stations and permit people to vote without passports if they provide any identification document.

Kuptsov also complained that the Russian public television station ORT had refused last night to air a campaign advertisement which he said had been paid for in advance.

But a spokesman for ORT, Sergei Blagovolin, said the ad was not aired because it had not been paid for and because it contained what he called "unproven allegations." The clip reportedly raised the issue of election fraud.

Earlier, the Kremlin press service said Yeltsin was working on documents at his country residence today. Yeltsin's health had become an election issue, though officials say he has only been suffering from a cold and strained voice.