The recent elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation caused massive discontent among citizens, who suspected that the officially announced results had little to do with the actual results of the voting. An indifferent part of society previously suspected the authorities of being too free to handle the people’s will, but this time everything was done too unceremoniously and, moreover, against the background of a catastrophic decline in the popularity of the main pro-government party.
It must be said that such a forced “correction from above” of voting data took place earlier in world history. And it did not lead to good for political cheats, and often for the country as a whole.
The record holder-falsifier may well be called the President of Liberia Charles King, who in 1927 was re-elected for a third term, having received 234 thousand votes against 9 thousand from a rival Thomas Faulkner… Everything would be fine, but there were only 15 thousand voters in the country. This “triumphant victory” so amazed the world that in 1982 it was included in the Guinness Book of Records, this “achievement” has not been broken to this day.
Faulkner was offended by such impudence to the depths of his soul, but did not dispute the results, but sent messages to the League of Nations and the US State Department, in which he outlined the facts of the use by members of King’s team as slaves as servants, as well as in the sale of slaves to the Spanish colony of Fernando Po (now this is the island of Bioko, which belongs to Equatorial Guinea).
The League created a commission to investigate the slave trade, and the United States suspended diplomatic relations with Liberia. Against the backdrop of growing discontent, without waiting for impeachment, King resigned, and lived out his days showered with curses.
Decades later, this sad experience decided to repeat in the same Liberia a former military Samuel Doedeclared the winner of the 1985 presidential election. Not only that in reality his opponent scored 80%, but he also corrected his personal data, attributing to himself a year of life, since it was possible to nominate a candidate for the highest post only after reaching 35 years.
After that, there were several coup attempts in the country, an attempt was made on the victor’s life, and in 1989 a civil war broke out. Dow graduated sadly – in 1990 he was killed by one of the field commanders, close to his former comrade-in-arms. Liberia still belongs to the poorest countries of the Black Continent.
The dictator of Haiti remains one of the great lovers of electoral tricks. Francois Duvalier… He was first elected president in 1957 in elections without any voter registration.
In April 1961, at the next ballot, the citizens were escorted to the ballot boxes by armed soldiers to see if the voter was making a “politically literate” choice. In total, 58 members of parliament received mandates in this way – needless to say that all of them turned out to be allies of “Pope Doc” (as the Haitian ruler commanded to call himself). Moreover, each bulletin contained a subtle postscript “Dr. François Duvalier – President.”
It turned out that each paper dropped into the ballot box was also a vote for the extension of the powers of the head of state. The Haitians learned this the next day, when they explained all the details of the procedure and were told that the powers of their leader were unanimously extended.
After such a deafening victory, Duvalier decided not to complicate his life with such a vain ritual as voting, and decided to hold a referendum in which his subjects would agree to leave him as the head of state until the end of the earthly path. The ballots released contained the text of a decree proclaiming “Dad Doc” President for Life, the question “Do you agree?” and the only correct answer is “Yes”. Anyone who dared to have a different opinion could theoretically enter it personally, but under the supervision of a man with a gun, no one apparently dared to commit such a guaranteed suicide.
The reign of François Duvalier was accompanied by constant military speeches; in 1963, a war almost broke out with the neighboring Dominican Republic. Shortly before the dictator’s death in April 1970, the Haitian fleet fired at the presidential palace, but the uprising was suppressed with the help of American aircraft, which bombed the rebel ships (the United States then considered the Duvalier regime as a counterweight to socialist Cuba). The successor of “Pope Doc” was his son François (“baby Doc”).
When in 1985 he repeated the trick with a referendum on his life-long presidency (99.98% of the country’s citizens “voted” for him), student unrest began, which soon became general, as a result of which Duvalier Jr. fled the country in 1986 … The rule of the “dock” dynasty, with gigantic corruption and the destruction of opponents, made Haiti one of the poorest and most backward countries in the world.
In European countries, the elections also did not go without the work of “illusionists”. The most recent example is the 2016 Austrian presidential election, which was won by the Greens’ candidate Alexander van der Bellen, although the right Eurosceptic was in the lead throughout the race Norbert Heufer… Then in the city of Waidhofen, according to the election commission, the turnout was 146.9%, and in the city of Linz it was 598%.
In the heat of the inflamed passions, few paid attention to the “oversight” of the head of the Austrian election commission, who announced that 740 thousand ballots were issued for additional voting, while 760 thousand were actually printed. By the way, it was the results of the additional voting that took away the victory from Hofer.
Finally, in the citadel of democracy – the United States – the question of the legality of the election comes up every now and then. John F. Kennedy in 1960. Then in the state of Illinois there were more voters than there were registered voters, and about 150 thousand votes for the losing Republican did not get into the final protocol of Texas Richard Nixon…
Given the minimal majority of votes in favor of Kennedy, his rival’s lawyers strongly advised to challenge the election results. However, he refused, saying that he did not want to create a dangerous precedent and undermine American confidence in the institution of the president.
Later, as you know, John F. Kennedy was shot dead on November 22, 1963, and Richard Nixon prematurely left the post of head of the White House on August 9, 1974 because of the “Watergate” scandal.